Sweat it Out in Boston

Need to sweat out some tension? Visit Sweat it Out, a free-to-the-public handcrafted mobile sauna, courtesy of the DS Institute, on the Harborwalk in Boston this November and December.

Join us as we discuss key tension areas in Boston and beyond in this warm, welcoming, safe place in the coldest of Boston months. Relax, get comfortable, and open up—it’s our hope that we can discuss the hard things with each other in a trusting, supportive way. Please come sweat it out with us!

A project by Caitlin Foley, Heather Kapplow, and Misha Rabinovich.

Sweat it Out is made possible with funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ Creative City Program, with funding from The Barr Foundation and with additional support from the Boston Foundation.Sweat it Out is also sponsored in part by Blue Hills Saving Bank.

Sauna use linked to longer life, fewer fatal heart problems

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We’ve seen a lot of sauna health research and most of the time the findings were mixed: it was hard to scientifically measure the health benefits. But a new study using Finnish subjects does support the idea that saunas are healthy. Unfortunately, the study only looked at male subjects however the results are very encouraging.

In the USA, sauna use is associated with the pampering of spas, so a study on long term sauna users here would probably be biased from the get-go. The key here is that Fins of all walks of life use the sauna so the results are probably not skewed based on socioeconomic status. Perhaps as research like this and projects such as ours continue to permeate the culture of the States, all kinds of people will start stripping down, hopping in, and maybe even living longer!

Harvard Health Blog: Saunas are Healthy

Unruly Engagements at Cleveland Institute of Art

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It was a great honor to present an update on our project at the Cleveland Institute of Art Unruly Engagements Conference. We showed photos and presented the story of the mobile sauna. We also did a live showcase of a sweat battery charging mobile phones which was created with the sweat of conference goers. We collected the sweat the night before, at Banya Tamazonka in Cleveland (a Russian wet sauna).

The sweat battery organizes and contains the sweat, which is a representation of externalized stress. We are not erasing the problems that cause the stress: the sweat battery still holds a charge. But we are dealing with the stress by pushing it out so it is no longer inside, causing problems for the mind and body. The mobile sauna is a vehicle for conversation and rejuvenation and acting as a weapon against factionalism and powering neighborliness.

Thank you to CIA and especially Gary Sampson and Jose Teixeira for bringing us there. It was an honor to be part of such a stellar lineup of presenters who discussed engaging and socially minded projects. It was great to meet new friends and connect with old ones. We hope to be back to Cleveland soon!

A Quieter Season

As the days grow shorter we are reminded of the importance of sharing the warmth. Multiple members of the DS Institute are on a nine month fellowship in Los Angeles while the Mobile Sauna remains in upstate NY. As a result, though the DS Institute think tank is in the midst of brainstorming and strategizing, the Mobile Sauna will have a slightly less active schedule this season. There will be occasional sauna sessions in Syracuse NY and we welcome location and event suggestions. Feel free to email us at contact AT dsinsitute.com and stay tuned for future sauna sessions and DS Institute events.

Photos from Mobile Sauna and Sweat Battery in NYC at the Ideas City Festival

These photos where taken at the Ideas City Festival on May 4th.  It was a great day of sharing ideas and sweating on the Lower East Side. Sweat collected from sauna users during the festival was used in a DS Institute Sweat Battery which was exhibited at 25CPW Gallery the end of May.  The battery can be seen below in post on “Maximizing Sweat Equity.” All NYC photos were taken by Andrew Frost.

Mobile Sauna in the Lower East Side (Resulting Sweat Battery to be Exhibited at 25CPW Gallery)

Blip TV and Russian TV featured the DS Institute in their coverage of the New Museum’s Ideas City Festival.  Check it out below!  We come on around 2:20 on Blip TV and 1:00 on Russian TV.  During the festival sauna users volunteered their sweat which was used as an active ingredient in an electrical battery that charged cell phones. The battery will be exhibited and available to charge your phone as part of the eNth Degree at 25CPW Gallery next week. (Reception May 23, 6-8pm)

Maximizing Sweat Equity

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Sweat Battery Prototype

We presented our mobile sauna in New York City and got a very great reception. People used our sauna and volunteered their sweat. We turned this sweat into electrical batteries on the spot and charged our cell phone. Here is the instruction sheet we presented to explain how it works. The full instruction PDF is here.

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Maximizing Sweat Equity How-to