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Fracking the Land









Storage tanks - Kensington, Ohio



Fracking the Land shows the beauty of nature contrasted against the destructive impact of human progress. Images in the series depict natural landscapes with subtle human alterations, their machinations quietly blending into a living aesthetic. I pair these images with photographs from my family farm in Ohio where they have leased the land usage rights of our farm to a hydraulic fracking company. Although our farm has yet to be used for hydraulic fracking it is only a matter of time before it is.

The impact of hydraulic fracking reaches far beyond the wells used to extract oil. There are steel mills that fabricate the pipes needed to penetrate the earth. The most consequential issue is the disposal of the chemical-laced post-fracking brine. A veritable cocktail of toxic chemicals and oil, this brine emits radiation and also has three times the salinity of standard salt water. This liquid is usually disposed of in a system of open-air ponds where it slowly drains back into the earth while emitting radiation. However many ponds are filled beyond capacity causing too much pressure in the old well which then creates earthquakes and contaminated aquifers. Even the mining of the silica sand poses a range of threats to environmental and human health, as it is collected using a method similar to mountain top removal which causes a variety of health complications for those people who breathe in the resulting dust.

I’ve long been an opponent of hydraulic fracking, and my work Fracking the Land reflects this. There is a deceptive beauty that lives in the tension between the natural world and these quiet but destructive incursions. It is the goal of this project to capture that beauty, while revealing the coiled predator lurking beneath.


M. Katie White







Flags of Fracking - Carrollton, Ohio




Hidden Warnings




Silica Pond - Portage, Wisconsin




Silica Crane - Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin




Hidden site - Canton, Ohio




Hills of Silica - Pardeeville, Wisconsin




Mining Signs




Large Site - East Canton, Ohio




“LEAVE OUT” - Wooster, Ohio




Danger - Canton, Ohio




In the distance - East Canton, Ohio




Park & Brine Storage - Canton, Ohio




False Mountains - Pardeeville, Wisconsin




Silica Mining - Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin




Silica Pond - Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin




Truck Entrance - Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin




Warning Signs - Hanoverton, Ohio




Gas Pipes & deer - Waynesburg, Ohio




Trailer - Lowellville, Ohio




Site in the distance - East Rochester, Ohio




Fork in the road - East Rochester, Ohio




Brine pond - Canton, Ohio




Tracks - Wooster, Ohio




Corn Site - Carrollton, Ohio




Hidden pipe - Carrollton, Ohio




Fracking tower - Carrollton, Ohio




Fall fracking - Carrollton, Ohio




Pipe clearing - Carrollton, Ohio




Gas Pipes - Carrollton, Ohio




Out of view - Carrollton, Ohio




Special tree - Carrollton, Ohio




Entrance tracks - Carrollton, Ohio




School house tanks - Carrollton, Ohio


Waiting in line - Carrollton, Ohio


Hill Site - Carrollton, Ohio


Protected pipes - East Rochester, Ohio








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© M.KATIE WHITE 2022