Originally from Reno, Nevada, Pete Froslie currently practices in Oklahoma, where his work explores intersections of art, technology and culture. He exhibits nationally and internationally, with recent exhibitions in Beijing, Vienna, and Los Angeles, and his work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and Gizmodo, among other outlets. Froslie is an associate professor in the School of Visual Arts at the University of Oklahoma. He received his MFA from the Studio for Interrelated Media at MassArt and his BFA from the University of Nevada-Reno.
Froslie has long been fascinated with the relationship between global political and economic structures and emerging issues of climate and environmental change. Recently, Froslie spent more than a month aboard the barquentine Antigua, a three-masted ship, during expeditions to the Arctic Circle, around the Svalbard archipelago in June 2019 and October 2017. These trips took Froslie into territory seldom seen by humans, as well as abandoned Soviet mines, and the Global Seed Vault. On these two expeditions, Froslie collected a variety of digital assets, including underwater recordings of melting ice in Svalbard fjords and video footage of wildlife and human impact in the area.
These expeditions are part of Froslie’s multi-year project, Leviathan: The Aesthetics of Capital, which began in 2016 with an ART365 grant from the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. With the ART365 project, Froslie used chemical processes to extract rare earth metals from electronic waste to help answer the question “How best can we see capital?” (link).
In Leviathan, Froslie continues his exploration of how capital can be seen and understood by integrating understandings of climate change, moral and political philosophy, philosophical aesthetics and demonology through the media of experimental electro-mechanics and game engine-based digital projection. From this work, Froslie has exhibitions in Norman, Oklahoma (link); Cedar City, Utah (link); and Dundee, Scotland (link). These exhibitions explore intersections of nature, society and capital through the lens of the “Leviathan.”
Froslie’s travels were made possible through “The Arctic Circle,” an artist and scientist-led expeditionary residency program. This highly selective program allows international artists of all disciplines, as well as scientists, architects, and educators, the opportunity to come together and explore this environmentally sensitive region (link). Froslie received support from the Ed Cline Faculty Development program at the University of Oklahoma, as well as the School of Visual Arts, to allow him to participate in these travels.
Due to the collaborative format of the residency, Froslie was able to get to know other artists and creatives working at the leading edges of their disciplines, including John Ruppert, a sculptor in Baltimore (link); Steven Brower, a set designer who has worked with Netflix (link); and Beth Jones (link), a journalist in Boston.
What’s next for Froslie? He plans to continue developing his “Leviathan” series, drawing on not only his arctic residencies, but also a recent residency at the Tides Institute in Maine (link), where he gathered 3D scans of intricate bogs and forests, as well as footage of salmon farms. Upcoming iterations of “Leviathan” include exhibitions at the Southern Utah Museum of Art, the Gregroy Allicar Museum of Art in Pueblo, Colorado, and the Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis, MO.
To keep up with Froslie’s creative practice, follow him on Instagram @petefroslie.