Valery Lyman

Fall 2018

Valery Lyman and images from "Breaking Ground." Photos courtesy of the artist.

Rapid expansion and abandonment as a result of industry boom and bust cycles is a recurrent phenomenon in American history, one that has forged our national character and defined our migrations. Lyman has always been interested in these places - in the hard labor, raucous living, personal sacrifice, loneliness, enormous optimism and great risk that quickly fills them up, and then of course, how the din of voices quiets down, leaving echoes and remnants in its wake. (Read more...)

Lyman has spent the last 5 years photographing and recording audio in the Bakken region of North Dakota, documenting the rise of the oil industry there and the massive migration that went along with it. Mine is the most comprehensive visual-aural archive of this time and place in American history. "Breaking Ground" is a series of site specific installations in which these photographs are projected onto large industrial remnants while sound compositions emanate from different areas of an exhibition site, creating an immersive opportunity to explore what is occurring in North Dakota now and a meditation on the cyclical nature of industrial booms.

With the CAI residency at University of Buffalo, Lyman will expand this work to include the surrounding area and history of Buffalo. Buffalo, once a towering beacon of industry, is rich with old steel mills, factories, granaries, locks, and other traces of its own industrial boom. Lyman would explore this history and document its structural and imaginal remains. This newly captured work would then be incorporated into the growing archive of projected boom/bust images, and culminate  in a multi-night exhibit at Silo City in early fall.