Documentary artist Valery Lyman spent 4 years photographing and recording audio in the Bakken Shale region of North Dakota (2013-2016), documenting the rise of the oil industry there and the large worker migration that went along with it. Hers is the most comprehensive visual-aural archive of this particular time and place in American history. In Breaking Ground, this documentary material will be projected directly onto the machinery in multiple points throughout the Carrie Blast Furnaces. This multi-channel photo-phonic installation is both an invitation to explore what is occurring in North Dakota now, and an opportunity to reflect on the cyclical nature of industrial booms and Pittsburgh's own history.
Built in 1884 and operating for 98 years, the Carrie Blast Furnaces are remains of the massive U.S. Steel Homestead Works, and helped forge the Pittsburgh region into a 20th-century industrial powerhouse. Now a National Historic Landmark, this unique site allows for a play with density, echo, and the ephemeral nature of industry.
Breaking Ground has had 4 previous public exhibits at industrial sites across the country.