Breaking Ground: An Immersive Meditation on the Oilfields of North Dakota

Valery Lyman Debuts New Documentary Work at the Museum

April 12, 2017

The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum welcomes documentary artist Valery Lyman for the debut of her new work Breaking Ground: An Immersive Meditation on the Oilfields of North Dakota.

Lensed through the rise of the oil industry in North Dakota, Breaking Ground is a one-night immersive meditation on the tale of dreams sought and abandoned that wends its way through the American psyche and the physical landscape of the country itself.

Drilling Floor. Photo by Valery Lyman.


Having published photo essays about North Dakota in The Guardian, LA Times, and The Christian Science Monitor, Lyman is sharing her work with the public for the first time as a photo-phono installation at the Waterworks Museum.

The visual and audio collage planned for the Waterworks Museum will provide a unique, historical backdrop for exploring the new boomtowns of the west. Lyman’s images will be projected on the towering 19th century engines of the Museum, accompanied by the sounds and voices of the North Dakota communities embedded in an unforgiving, industrial landscape.

A reception begins at 6:30pm, with refreshments from Season to Taste and a rum tasting bar by Privateer Rum. Tickets are available through Eventbrite for $10 per person.

fracking, North Dakota, Bakken, oil, water

Frac Operation Underway. Photo by Valery Lyman