On an individual level the sauna cleanses people of physical toxins and releases stress. Surrendering to this act of cleansing in the presence of others creates a unique social bond. The public becomes intimate. The DS Institute’s sauna is built on a trailer in order to enter into a culture that is becoming increasingly privatized and to remind us of the importance of shared experiences in fostering healthy lifestyles. Mobile Sauna bathers are invited to extend this experience by donating their sweat to be the active ingredient in working electrical batteries that power community rejuvenation.
This is an image of the sweat battery created from the donated sweat of mobile sauna users. We went on tour starting at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY and eventually getting to the New Museum's Ideas City Festival in NYC, in collaboration with The Canary Project. Thank you to Waste To Work.
People come together in this sauna to cleanse and engage in warm conversations and fiery discourse. The commons have always extended beyond the public gathering spaces that support them: they enabled us to create temporary autonomous zones where we can freely reflect and rejuvenate. More info can be found on the DS Institute blog.
A significant portion of the funding of Mobile Sauna construction was crowdsourced which helped energize the community and spread the word about the project. We used Kickstarter to get our initial budget going and then used the success of the campaign to leverage more funds from institutions.