Christina Elizabeth Hall

Salary to Surplus: pitch


Salary to Cornucopia: a critique on the current desalination practices

“Campaign” for my proposed art installation on the topic of Desalination

The installation will be called:

Salary to Cornucopia

Salary to Cornucopia, 2017 will be a critique of the current desalination practices happening all over the world.  I will be creating a visual representation of the effects of current desalination alongside a visual representation of were we can positively go with this practice since it important for some countries as well as inevitable in our future lives.

Who is this installation for?

I am wanting to bring this issue to the attention of the individual consumer and hoping this will help to out pressure on the policy creators to make a change on regulations around desalination around the world.


Effects of current desalination plants on global warming and thus increase of salination in the oceans

Gallery Installation Proposal for Salary to Cornucopia

Temp Ex – Further exploration of Desalination


I have been doing a lot of research on the topic of desalination and am starting to condense to the topics that I might want to focus on. Because we ended class last week before we could finish the lecture, I wanted to clarify some questions in class this week on what we require for emailing to experts as well as designing a “call”.  I’m hoping with this clarification I can start to put some proposed ideas on paper of possible prototypes for my project.

Project interest

I think that I am the most interested in focusing on the following:

  • What should be done with the excess salt brine after the desalination process (while keeping in mind the environmen tand ecosystems)
Systems Analysis

Systems that are contained within the topic of Desalination:

  1. Oceanic System
  2. Atmospheric System
  3. Global System
  4. Many different ecosystems

Systems that overlap with the topic Desalination:

  1. Economic System – it costs money in creating the energy to desalinate saline water, additionally it cost money to build the infrastructure.
  2. Socio-cultural – all societies need fresh clean water to function

Systems that exclude the topic of Desalination:

  1. Religion — I thought this was removed from the topic at first… however after reading the book Salt –  A World History by Mark Kurlansky, I realized how important Salt is in many different cultures.
Citations of resources




Temp Ex – Assignment 1: Desalination


Notes of interest from reading:

“Research results in new knowledge and the final test of new knowledge is what it contributes to the human condition… art produces new knowledge to culture, in which new art directly adds to the quality of cultural experiences” –Bernard Hoffert


Initial thoughts on Desalination before research

De- (removal of) Saline (salt) –ation (the process of)

  • The process of salt removal
  • Removal of salt from a substance
  • Reverse Osmosis
  • Components of salt: Sodium Chloride (NaCl) NA+ and Cl-


  • There are political discussions around this on how that affects publics (example, countries that surround the Dead Sea).


  • salt brings out flavors in food (opens up taste buds)
  • Removal of taste from food— not good

Human body

  • Na+ ions support cellular function by helping keep positive osmotic pressure (known as electrolytes)
  • Desalination of the Human body would lead to dehydration and death


  • Salt in the oceans support specific species and marine life
  • Removal of salt could change the species that are able to live in those saline environments.



Formal Definition:

More generally, desalination refers to the removal of salts and minerals from a target substance, as in soil desalination, which is an issue for agriculture. Saltwater is desalinated to produce water suitable for human consumption or irrigation. One by-product of desalination is salt.

  • I thought I was simply the removal of salt, but it is also the removal of minerals
  • This can be done in soil for agriculture or in Saltwater

“Desalination” used in Art – Dead Sea Salt Crystal Gown


Desalination is the concept where salt water is converted to fresh water that can be used for consumption.  There are multiple processes that are possible to retrieve this result: Thermal and membrane-based processes

Separation Processes. Thermal. Multi Stage Flash. Multiple Effect Evaporation. Freezing. Humidification-Dehumidification. Membrane. Reverse Osmosis. Electro-Dialysis.

Thermal can be a very expensive way of desalination.  Israel is the real expert as they are leading the way with some of the largest reverse-osmosis facilities where they use reverse osmosis to provide their country with clean drinkable water in a location were saline water is very high.

Humans have looked to nature to understand reverse osmosis because there are plants and animals that have ben desalinizing their water for centuries. The mangrove is a small tree or shrub that grows in coastal saline water and uses reverse osmosis in their root membranes to remove salt. “Red mangroves use this energy-free trick to make their drinking water: evaporation wicks moisture from their leaves, creating a vacuum that sucks saltwater through their root membranes up through the tree, leaving salt behind.” (, 2017)

Why do we need to think about the concept of desalination?

As Global temperatures continue to rise, greater evaporation in the oceans will cause the increase in percentages of saline in the oceans as warmer air has the ability to hold and to redistribute more moisture (Science, 2012). Areas that already have a large amount of salt water, over the next century the concentration of salt will drastically go up.  Fresh water is needed for human and animal consumption, agriculture, habitat support, etc.  Desalination will be a process that will need to be incorporated into our communities and countries.

Make something! Play!

This topic inspired my to revisit an experiment that I used to do as a child.  Understanding the correct proportions of salt to water, one can form saline crystals overnight in your own home (Here’s an example of this experiment).

I wanted to see if I could recreate a beautiful catalog of images of saline crystals.  As a former scientist, I wanted there to be a didactic component to this experience, but decided that I wanted to just create and not try to force a concept onto it.

Here are my formed salt crystals

Desalination: Salt crystals magnified with a lens


Desalination: Salt crystals magnified with a lens


Desalination: Salt crystals magnified with a lens

Desalination: Salt crystals inverted to observe the crystalline structure

Desalination: Salt crystals magnified with a lens