Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 2, 2012.

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We are creating a mobile sauna which will provide an open and comfortable environment for warmth, rejuvenation and conversation.

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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_of_Life

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!

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    6 backers

    Your name will appear on the DS Institute website as a steamy companion of the Mobile Sauna.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    17 backers

    You will receive a hand printed, hand drawn mobile sauna postcard and your name will appear on the DS Institute website as a steamy companion of the Mobile Sauna.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    17 backers

    You will receive a magnet with a photo of the DS Institute in their white towel uniform plus everything listed above.

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    11 backers

    You will get a mobile sauna tote bag with hand printed DS Institute insignia. You will also receive everything listed above.

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    3 backers Limited (37 left of 40)

    You will receive a handmade DS Institute mug! You will also receive everything listed above.

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  • Pledge $125 or more
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    8 backers

    Receive the Mobile Sauna Kit! The kit features a towel with the DS Institute insignia and a hand-printed tote-bag! You will also receive everything listed above.

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    3 backers

    Immortalize your name in the custom ceramic tile surrounding the stove in the mobile sauna. You will also receive everything listed above.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer

    Immortalize your name in the custom ceramic tile surrounding the stove in the sauna and receive the Deluxe Mobile Sauna Kit! The Deluxe kit has everything in the mobile sauna kit as listed above plus a felt sauna hat with a DS Institute insignia to insulate your head (for serious heat hounds!).

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  • Pledge $1,500 or more
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    0 backers

    The sauna will come to visit you for a weekend (Must be within 200 miles of Syracuse, NY), plus all the rewards listed above.

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Funding period

- (34 days)