In this digital video Leviathan: Reanimating Rubbish, artist Pete Froslie engages themes of e-waste, climate change, moral and political philosophy, and demonology. The artist has long been fascinated with the relationship between global political and economic structures and emerging issues of climate and environmental change, which he understands through the lens of the “Leviathan.”
Froslie, who mines e-waste and travels to document fragile ecosystems, including the Arctic bogs of Maine, USA, and Svalbard, Norway, at the North Pole, is interested in both the Biblical Leviathan, the sea monster, and Thomas Hobbes’ bookLeviathan (1651), about social contract theory. Using tech media, including electro-mechanical and game engine-based procedures, Froslie sends electrical signals through Cold War-era e-waste to seed an Arctic ocean simulation. Froslie imagines that this continuous practice of travel, research, and making can summon a contemporary “Leviathan,” allowing the intersections between nature, society and capital to be seen and felt.
About the Artist
Originally from Reno, Nevada, Pete Froslie currently lives and works in Oklahoma, where his studio practice explores intersections of art, technology and culture. His work exhibits nationally and internationally, with recent exhibitions in Beijing, Vienna, and Los Angeles, and has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and Gizmodo, among other outlets. Froslie received his MFA from the Studio for Interrelated Media at MassArt. He is an associate professor in the School of Visual Arts at the University of Oklahoma.