Walking on Hollowed Ground

From the coal mines of Eastern Wyoming to the Bakken Oil Fields in North Dakota there is a feeling that the earth is being emptied. Though the Bakken shale is located nearly 2 miles below Williston's grassy plains, and high estimates assume that at best only ten percent of the oil will be extracted, the landscape gives the impression that the world will soon be a week old boule, crust primed to crumble and give way at the slightest touch. I had never thought about land as they do here, that it is for the taking, to be utilized and profited from. I had anticipated feeling a disgust for the industry that I did not find. The machinery itself was interesting, and overall mildly intrusive, visually. The infrastructure being built in Williston to facilitate the industry, however, was hard to look at. I found myself having physically adverse reactions to the sterile and thoughtless warehouses, man camps, car dealerships and apartments being built around the Bakken to house the oil field workers and sell them white trucks. The space is being recklessly cluttered, and though this is Williston's third oil boom, visual indications of slapdash expansion show a refusal to learn from the past and great apathy for the future.