Salt Lines, 2012
A salt line cycle, hand salted and painted 35mm film leader meant to bring to mind the process of salt extraction and the hard repetitive labor of those who bring us this commodity. Salt is a common commodity that virtually everyone comes in contact with on a daily basis. Research about the history of salt, the labor associated with its production, its sources and place within the global market inspired this abstract piece.
Pickaxes, solid walls of salt, 17 levels of tunnels, crush, carry loads to the ponds, wash, repeat, and the miner's (including men, women and children in some mines) receive $2.75 per ton. In the US, Himalayan pink salt is sold for $1.00 per ounce and used in gourmet cooking, medicinal healing, for salt sachets, and said to promote perfect healing and a positive frequency. Salt Lines is a haptic, visceral response to these discordant lines of text associated with Himalayan salt.
Salt is transparent, white, pink reddish to dark- red in color.
- origination: 35mm clear leader, salt; white and Himalayan pink, ink, paint, tape
- 4min. 48 sec. loop or single channel, silent
- Exhibition format: HD digital File, DVD or BlueRay
Salt Lines is scheduled to screen as part of the AXWFF Screening Series at Anthology Film Archives this fall and has been selected for inclusion in the Journal of Short Film, Volume 29
Salt Lines has screened at the following festivals: Edinburgh International Film Festival, Black Box 3: Matter and Metamorphosis, Montreal Underground Film Festival, FPS Program – Plug Projects Kansas City, Haverhill Experimental Film Festival, Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, Experiments in Cinema V.8.53, The 9th Berlin International Director’s Lounge, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Black Maria Film Festival – Director’s Choice and the Artspace Crystal Palace Experimental Film Festival
Background: readings about salt
1. Himalayan Pink Salt: PH balanced, pure, positive potential, premium, precious, promotes physical health - a salt for the senses-this salt is hand-selected, hand crushed, washed and sun-dried-this long standing tradition of extracting by hand is in perfect harmony with nature-used for bath salts, herbal masks, cosmetics, gourmet cooking and medicinal purposes
2. Laborers use hand-cranked drills or pick axes and gunpowder to break the salt away from the solid wall in tunnels as deep as 17 levels beneath the surface. In smaller mines, laborer’s carry out the salt on their backs or with donkeys, union miners in larger mines use vehicles. The salt is then crushed, washed and dried. The miners, sometimes men women and children repetitively carry the loads of salt from the mine or well up stairs, ladders and trails to the crushing, washing and drying area
One of the salt miners laments that the company can’t afford to mechanize. The work is backbreaking and dangerous. Miners have lost their lives in the mines. In their most recent collective effort, Khewra miners successfully fought to have clean water to drink.
3. Miners receive approximately $2.75 per ton of Himalayan salt mined. Purchase price in the United States is approximately $1.00 per ounce
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