Training with nature, 2007
©Julie Goergen
Public Art project for the City of Seinäjoki

In 2007, I spent 4 month at TAIK University, in the environmental art department. This is a public Art project for the City of Seinäjoki in Finland that I developed at the time.

When we went to visit river Seinäjoki, I noticed that people liked to practice outdoor sports along the river banks - I saw them running or do Scandinavian walking. So I got the idea to place some stationary exercise machines in several spots next to the river, the same type that you usually find indoors, in a Fitness centre for instance. But these exercise machines would be connected to the natural environment, producing an effect on it, so that the people who would train on these machines would interact with nature. The advantage of training on these machines is that one stays on the same spot, being able to contemplate the beautiful scenery. Another positive thing is that you see a result/ effect directly; the energy that you produce by exercising becomes visible in front of you, so it is more motivating and rewarding than a usual training. The exercise machines would be water resistant. It could be interesting to involve Seinäjoki University of applied sciences (SeAMK), or other engineers, because technical skills would be required to develop these machines. These images are propositions, but there are many other possibilities for machines, some of them should be removed in the winter, especially the one which involves water, which would freeze. It is also possible to imagine some machine just for the winter that would interact with the snow. The following propositions are quite individual but the number of the machines can be multiplied for families to practice together.

Elliptical Fountain
The use of this machine would cause the eruption of fountains, placed underwater in the river. The more pressure you use on the machine the higher and the more spectacular the water jets will be.

Propeller rowing machine
This rowing motion in this machine turns a large propeller, which would blow wind higher up in the tree’s leaves.

Water wheel bicycle
This machine is a stationary bicycle connected to a water wheel, placed in the river, turning the opposite direction than that of the river flow; as a result it is a sort of fight against the water’s physical power.