In Permafrost Bathing, an old folk healing method of using peat/moor treatment is combined with the microbial entities such as viruses released from the thawing permafrost to create an encounter and a corporeal experience which is possibly dangerous or resilient for humans. In this performance, the participants are guided to treat themselves with moor infused with water from the melted permafrost, collected from Abisko area, North Sápmi.

Permafrost Bathing investigates permafrost as a living and transforming more-than-human that can be related to through sensorial register and hydrobodily encounter in foot and steam bath. Permafrost is defined as soil that is frozen continuously for more than two years but in the Arctic, the permafrost that is currently thawing because of the climate breakdown, was frozen for hundreds of thousands of years.

My artistic research is located in Abisko in North Sápmi where I research implications of the polycrisis as a corporeal experience and ritualisations that can relate to it. In Abisko, the permafrost is studied trough the means of natural sciences: for instance, the measurements done in Abisko Scientific Research Station since late 1970’ indicate that the permafrost can thaw by meters because of the climate warming. This leads to irreversible changes as there are more water, CO2 and methane released from the thawing ice when the micro-organisms start to break down the previously frozen dead plant matter⁠. How can humans and more-than-human relate to this new condition and change?

Permafrost Bathing has been in State of the Art meeting in Helsinki and Akee – Space for Culture in Lithuania in 2023.


This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.