MobileSauna In The Show & Rewards Update

Our MobileSauna made it into The Other New York biennial opening this Fall! This is a big multi-venue group art exhibition organized by the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY. Other participating venues include Art Rage, Lightwork, Red House, and others (press release). You might be happy to know that you will all be credited as donors in the show’s catalog. We are completing the image for the catalog over the next week.

The reward packages are coming together. We originally had them going out to you in March, however we are still fulfilling the gift packs. They are coming out swimmingly! Above is a sneak peak at the hand-painted mugs getting ready for firing.

Our new stove is a wonder. We had to raise an additional grand and a half to get it, but thanks to you we had our successful Kickstarter to encourage the donor! Finally, our new stove arrived. We almost combusted when we saw the serial number. Its a great omen as far as heat goes. We will be in touch shortly to ascertain your mailing address.

Our Mobile Sauna Project’s Got Wheels!

Syracuse NY is a city with long grey, cold, snowy winters. Between November 2010 and April 2011 Syracuse had 179 inches of snow fall. Come November, it is rare to exchange a smile with someone walking down the streets. Unless it is necessary to leave the house, people disappear into the darkest corners of the city; forlorn, depressed and huddling under blankets. Seasonal depression affects a majority of the population. However, this North American city has yet to discover the benefits of saunas. The DS Institute plans to build a mobile sauna which will deliver warmth and rejuvenation to the people of Syracuse and beyond.

The DS Institute is a group of artists who create contextual artwork that responds to their direct environment, but has larger implications and cultural applications. In addition to being experiential, the mobile sauna will also be an educational tool to aid the inspiration and the development of a Sauna community that will lure people out of the dark corners of Syracuse winters.

The oldest known saunas where pits dug in the ground and used as dwellings. Steam produced by water thrown on heated rocks helped people survive cold temperatures. In Syracuse it is also a matter of survival. Saunas have a rich history of varying uses and have been an important part of many cultures. Sauna-ing has been a daily activity for the families of Sweden for centuries. In Estonia and Finland they were once the place where woman would give birth, providing a sterile and warm environment for an infant to enter the world. Sauna’s have also been a place to refresh and rejuvenate the spirit when preparing the dead for burial. Russian Banyas are a place for conversation, and sometimes even heated debate.

The movie Steam of Life, based on Sauna culture

We aim to create a Sauna which will provide an open and comfortable environment for warmth, rejuvenation and conversation. These are all things essential to a productive and healthy lifestyle and extremely difficult to come by during the winter months in Syracuse.

The Sauna will hold up to six people at a time with a two tiered seating area. It will include a small shower and changing room. We have a nine foot by twelve foot, two axle steel trailer, which we have already sanded and primed. We have a pristine cast iron wood stove. We need wood, steel, and additional hardware to finish a beautiful Sauna. We also need to purchase vehicle registration and insurance. For this we need your help!

We plan to bring the Sauna to art openings and cultural events throughout Syracuse, NY with potential visits to other cities. We hope to see you there!

We would like to thank the photographers and link to the sites that provided the images(1, 2, and 3).

DS Institute are now Syracuse University Sustainability Fellows

We are very happy to have been able to present the installation at the SU Sustainability Showcase.

The Disaster Solutions (DS) Institute aims to provide the Syracuse Community with artistic projects and presentations that illuminate critical local environmental issues. Onondaga Lake is the focus of the group’s first project; it became a Superfund site in 1994 due to detrimental effects of industrial and municipal waste disposal over the last century. The future of the lake has become both a scientific and political issue. The creative specialists of the DS Institute bring a cultural perspective to the table. This project distills deep research (including interviews with experts) in order to establish facts, elucidate controversies, point out missing information, and illuminate proposed solutions.

Through sculpture, poster exhibitions, lectures, and video, the DS Institute provides a variety of information and interpretations of the history, current dynamic, and the planned future of the lake’s ecosystem. The DS Institute produced a custom-built sculptural model that it uses as a pedagogical tool during lectures and videos. This machine, which is based on a scale model of Onondaga Lake, is fully equipped to distill lake water and is used to demonstrate a spectrum of remediation solutions from the realistic to the Utopian. The Institute’s educational video employs documentary-style presentations of interviews and lectures to explore a range of outcomes. The DS Institute aims to educate the public about the history of the lake and to show that the next chapter needs help being written. In doing so, they hope to inspire critical dialogue about ethical consumption, civic responsibility and environmental care.