web i-sauna.jpg

- iSauna

i Sauna

PROJECT EXPERIMENTAL ENVIRONMENT Kalavesi, , Kuopio, Finland 1995 Hosted by Kuopio Art Museum

In January 1995, I was invited to participate in the «Project Experimental Environment» in Finland. The project was started by five Nordic artists in Copenhagen, 1979. Since then, nine exhibitions have been produced in the Nordic countries, each time with different artists. The project this year was the 10th, and the last.

Five artists were invited to make one piece outdoors, and one indoors, related to – the Finnish town of Kuopio, where they were also displayed.

In April 1995, I began to build a traditional Finnish sauna with room for only two people. With the help of local expertise, trees were cut down and peeled. The sauna was then hand built in the traditional lockhouse manner, with a wooden roof, wooden hinges, and a wood-burning heater, using five hundred years old engineering methods, no metal fasteners of any kind were used, nor needed.

On the rooftop I placed a lighted cube, showing a lower case «i» – the sign for information. It was made as an exact copy from a stand at the Helsinki Airport, similar to most information-signs in other international airports and railway stations.

The sauna was then set on a floating platform, a raft, and anchored to the middle of a bay of lake Kallavesi, one of the larger Finnish lakes. Situated a hundred meters from land, it can be heated and has all the facilities of a sauna. Inside, the two seats are facing each other and between them a trapdoor in the floor can be opened for a bath.

Included in the «i» – Kuopio piece, is a wooden rowboat that can be used for transport back and forth from land.

At night, the only lighting is the «i» on the roof, and when lit, it turns into kind of lighthouse.