Free Salt



EATING IN PUBLIC occasionally participates in gallery + museum programming. Here, exhibitions take the form of distribution centers or how-to demonstrations.

FREE SALT (2020)

The Haigo and Irene Shen Architecture Gallery (Hawai‘i)

Free Salt is a small exercise in relearning a basic survival skill and in reclaiming the Commons. Since its theft, natural resources have been incrementally privatized or usurped by states, thus turning commoners into wage laborers for capitalism.

Salt is the main source of sodium in the human diet, essential for nerve and muscle function, and the regulation of fluids. Salt is used to season and preserve food. It can be collected from natural shoreline pools, produced through shallow artificial solar evaporation ponds, or by boiling ocean water. Free Salt featured two methods. By boiling ocean water collected from Ka‘ena Point, and through a durational performance and live feed of ocean water evaporating in the courtyard adjacent to gallery.

By Boiling:

+ Gather ocean water from the cleanest available source.
+ Let water sit for an hour for particles to settle.
+ Pour water into pot through a fine cloth or sieve.
+ Bring water to a boil and maintain at medium heat. Start with a full pot and add more salt water as it evaporates.
+ As salt starts to form, stir regularly to avoid burning.
+ Boil until 90% of the water has evaporated, or at the consistency of wet sand.
+ Remove wet salt from pot and place into a shallow baking pan. Bake in low heat until dry.

By Solar Evaporation:

Free Salt (2020) - The Haigo and Irene Shen Architecture Gallery