SARAH CHRISTIANSON, O'Connor #41-2, Abandoned in 1983, near Cartwright, North Dakota, 2012; 11 x 14 in., c-print. Edition of 10.
Sarah Christianson’s current work-in-progress focuses on the oil boom currently underway in western North Dakota. A native of the state, Christianson’s family has deep roots in this part of the U.S. affording her a historic understanding of the region. Now experiencing its third major oil boom in a century, this one is being fueled by new horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques—also known as fracking, an unregulated process that is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Christianson explains the focus of her project in terms of responsible land stewardship: “Each boom cycle has been followed by a bust that left the region carpeted with abandoned houses, roads in disrepair, unfinished construction projects, and contaminated well sites that may never be restored to farmland or wilderness. What will be left this time when the landscape is quiet again?” Christianson received her MFA in photography from the University of Minnesota and lives in San Francisco. Her monograph Homeplace is published by Daylight.