Lauren is a Portland-based filmmaker, photographer, community activist and writer, originally from Los Angeles. She holds an undergraduate degree in film from The University of Texas at Austin, and a master’s and doctorate in urban studies from Portland State University, where her research focused on the intersection between tenants' rights, place attachment and the meaning of home. Her debut documentary feature - Mystic Chords of Memory (2021) - continues in the same vein, exploring how narratives and stories create and maintain shared meaning around the places we inhabit. She has directed over a dozen short films, including Thundaar Lives! (2021), which premiered at the Eastern Oregon Film Festival.
Much of her photography deals with themes of cultural identity and resilience, including her book People Like Us: The Cult of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Croatoan, 2015), which was featured on Huffington Post, ABC.com, Slate, and Vice’s Creator’s Project blog. The series was also named one of Fast Co. Design's "22 Best Photo Essays of the Year'' in 2015. Her series Devotion: Alternative Religion in Los Angeles was included in a group show at Rutger's University, and featured in VIA Publication and Beautiful/Decay Magazine.
She currently works in the housing department of a local government agency, making short films about the journey from homelessness to home in the Portland region.
Her inspirations include urban bricolage, creative cultural resilience, collective community action, local myths & legends, animism, The Zone, and the derivé.
"Invisible threads are the strongest ties" -Nietzsche