Here is something to add to the list of sauna uses. Another way in which saunas can play a role in reshaping culture and country. From a description of the Maidan Revolution in a New Yorker article “After the Revolutions.”
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!
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!
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.
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.
Following our adventures in NYC the Mobile Sauna had a great session hosted by the Contemporary Artist Center at Woodside in Troy, NY.
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)
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.
Some of you may have noticed that we haven’t charged money for sauna use. We’ve worked hard to raise funds for events so that we could bring you the sauna experience as a gift. Unfortunately, our extensive touring as of late required us to spend thousands of borrowed dollars to upgrade the trailer for longevity and function. If you are able to help us keep the sauna operation running with a small donation we would greatly appreciate it. We are finishing strong this sauna season and looking forward to taking it on the road again for the next! Please help us if you can, and whether you can donate or not you can always help us by spreading the word!
Above is a link to donate to the mobile sauna organization through Paypal. If you would like to donate but don’t want to use Paypal, please email us at contact -@- dsinstitute.com