This body of work comes from field studies undertaken in collaboration with artist Rachel Pimm in the Afar Triangle of Ethiopia in early 2019. The first 3 pieces (S, Hg, and DISINTEGRATION) are a combination of text, video, performance, and soundscape comissioned by the Whitechapel Gallery and the London Science Gallery. The 4th piece (Plates) is a soundtrack made from the raw field recordings made at Erta Ale, Dallol, Lake Asal, and the Giant's Causeway for Pimm's solo show at Whitechapel Gallery. The audio heard in all of the pieces are a combination of raw field recordings and constructed midi instrumentation from the geological field audio processes themselves. The recordings were made with a combination of contact, binaural, and hydroponic mics. Two of the pieces, Sulfur and Mercury, form part of Pimms ongoing collaborative iniative The Periodic Tables considering themes around the three Alchemical elements Sulfur, Mercury and Salt; presented below in a scrapbook format of exhibited and component parts.
S (Sulfur)
Rachel Pimm and Lori E Allen. 2019.
Video, live performance and sound, c. 25 minutes
S is a steam, a smoke, a hiss and a gurgle. A listen with rather than a speak for the minerals bubbling from the ground in salty acidic hydrothermal pools. Beginning at sulfur-yellow stained Dallol in the Danakil Depression, the lowest and hottest place on earth, there is an eruption of chemistry and astrobiology at the rift of 4 diverging tectonic plates where the mantle is at its most accessible and unstable. The land performs its own aliveness and toxicity, a cacophonous soundscape of productive materiality telling the geological story of the alchemical element of sulfur through the open mouths of volcanos, fumaroles, geysers and hyper saline thermal salt lakes.
Above text: Rachel Pimm.
Sulfur (S)
Rachel Pimm and Lori E Allen. 2019
Screened alongside live performance at London Science Gallery as part of the Dark Matter Season July and August 2019.
Hg (Mercury)
Rachel Pimm and Lori E Allen. 2019.
Video, live performance and sound, c.25 minutes
Where S is a vitriolic eruption of life-giving activity and energy, Hg is a mirror, a gag reflex and regurgitation, an amalgamation, a material whose surface sheen itself cannot be seen. Instead it shows us another version of the world around us. Hg reverses the properties and sounds of S, desaturating it into a fluid conductive mirrored transmission. Where S is highly active, Hg is highly re-active, literally rewinding the magic of its sister work to look at the origins of materiality from another direction.
Above Text: Rachel Pimm
Hg (Mercury). Rachel Pimm and Lori E Allen 2019. 
6' excerpt from London Science Gallery performance. August 2019.
Here for full video

S and Hg. Rachel Pimm and Lori E Allen. 2019. Beyond Transparency. Loughborough University, UK


Distintegration. Rachel Pimm and Lori E Allen. 2019. Whitechapel Galley, London UK

Rachel Pimm: Plates
You enter a shifting landscape. The tectonic plates are moving beneath you. What can you hear?
Plates is based on field work undertaken in Ethiopia and Northern Ireland by artist Rachel Pimm (b. 1984, Zimbabwe) with a soundtrack by Lori E. Allen (b. 1975, USA). For this commission, the artists create a visual and sonic topography with words, images and sounds that have been collected from an archive of self-similar images of biological, geological and physical matter. The space becomes an index of ‘plates’, representing materials located around volcanic landscapes such as the Giants Causeway (Northern Ireland) and the Afar Triangle (Ethiopia), geological sites where minerals, salts and lava boil to the crust making dynamic, continually fluctuating landscapes.

Still from Dallol, Rachel Pimm. Sound, Lori E Allen