This winter, I found myself in North Dakota, photographing the haphazard architecture erected to accommodate a bursting population that has infiltrated the Bakken formation in light of new hydraulic and horizontal fracturing technologies now available to commercial oil companies. A one-bedroom apartment in this area of North Dakota costs upwards of $2,000 a month, the population of the small farming community has doubled in just a few years, and Wal Mart has become the cultural center of town. Meanwhile, 10,000 foot holes are drilled into the earth, thousands of tons of salt water is shot into the ground to create fractures just as wide resulting in drastically increased oil production from previously un-tapped areas. Yet the boom won’t last beyond half a century. The pictures are paired with flanneur’like writings that narrate the experience of being in Bakken as well as my observations of the environment. The project is ongoing.
Kate Levy (b. 1984, Detroit, MI) holds her MFA from ICP-Bard. In 2012, she co-organized a symposium in with the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard on reinventing documentary practices and archive-based contemporary art. The conference took place at the International Center of Photography in December of 2012, and the publication for which is forthcoming. She has exhibited her work in various museums and art centers.
Artist’s Website: katelevy.virb.com