10 week acclimatisation program to enable swimming in the frozen Pirita River in Tallinn, Estonia in as much comfort as possible March 2012.

This project was part of a group exhibition in Tallinn with NCAD Art in the Digital World.

The work started with a live art performance “Launch” for “Winter Shorts” at Live Stock in Dublin where the audience had to hold onto ice cubes while listening to a 2 minute sound piece. The sounds were recorded using a hydrophone and ice on a frozen lake, the sound bites are appropriated from youtube interviews from Lewis Pugh and Lyne Cox leaders in cold water endurance and ice swimming: https://soundcloud.com/swimness/launch


The audience then threw 10 buckets of ice water at me as I filmed it with the Gopro.

The following few weeks I proceeded to take on a program of acclimatisation for swimming in the River Pirita. My swim friends were training for ice miles, where a swimmer swims for a mile in water less than 5º. My training was a parallel journey verging on the ridiculous, but curious at how the body can adjust and our sense of normal can change. I made a book about this acclimatisation process.

A PDF of the book: This is your normal

Press on the title to read the book.

Winter swimmer Henri Karma from Estonia very generously took me swimming in their local ice pool for the project, he is an International Winter Ice swimming champion.


This is your normal – The Launch performance and acclimatisation process.


This is your normal -part 2