Frontier Moods is a video performance for twelve lithium-ion-powered laptop computers. It follows the diffusion of lithium through the late-capitalist Earth and its humans, connecting extractivist states, speculative economies, luxury consumer technologies, personal neurochemistry, and popular culture.
Excerpts from the text on Frontier Moods:
The laptop on which we are writing contains roughly 3.5 grams of lithium. It is capable of storing some 0.54 kWh, or 1.94 MJ, about 20 percent of the recommended daily calorie intake for human adults.
Lithium remains widely prescribed for its mood-regulating properties. In 1949, the Australian psychiatrist John Cade argued that grains of lithium would help cure people suffering “psychotic excitement return them to the workforce.
In 2013, at the height of the Greek economic crisis, public health researchers proposed that introducing lithium into public water flows could stabilize suicide rates.
“I’m going through a major low no energy no motivation […] I look after my mum so that’s another layer on top […] house work is falling behind but we all eat well and that includes the dog who just adjusts to my mood.” (Natalie, HealthyPlace.com forums).
“Bolivia has very impressive economic growth […] Bolivia has large lithium reserves, and therefore we could cooperate in particular in this area.” (Angela Merkel, 4/11/2014).
Tesla’s plans to mainstream the electric car now drive the frenetic exploration for lithium extraction across the Earth. Since its IPO, Tesla’s share price has grown sevenfold to 222 euros. Tesla has never earned a profit.
HKW (Haus der Kulturen der Welt) Berlin
First viewing 18 april 2016
Video performance during the Anthropocene Campus by David Habets, Cameron Hu, Stefan Schäfer, Axel Schmidt, Ivo Louro