For the first event as Writer in Residence, Rachel Pimm collaborates with media archaeologist and sound artist Lori E. Allen on a new sound and text based performance work incorporating the geology, archaeology and chemistry of the sulphur-coloured Danakil Depression in Ethiopia.
This location, where four tectonic plates diverge, hosts both young land produced by volcanic eruption and ancient hominid history – the Danikil is the location where the bones of Lucy were found. This project ‘thinks about chemistry from Afar’. The generative triangular low lying land is home to the Afar people who named it Dallol. The translation of this word to English can be either Disintegration, or Dissolution, opening up new ways of thinking about beginnings and endings, political and economic dispersal, chemical reactions, breakdowns in communication, and mental and cognitive processes.
Here, Sulphur, the most common element in the universe and essential for all life, springs from the crust in acidic geysers and hot pools. Disintegration thinks about cosmic scale (Abio)genesis, the origins of life, and the conditions of the end, and therein also of the beginning of the world.
Rachel Pimm (b. Harare, 1984, lives in London) works in sculpture, video and performance to explore environments and their materialities, histories and politics often from the point of view of non-human agents such as plants, minerals, worms, water, gravity or rubber. She is interested in the potential of surfaces and matter to transform. Her work has been included in recent programmes including Hales Gallery, Jerwood Space, ANDOR, Tenderpixel and Chisenhale Gallery, The Royal Academy and Serpentine Gallery (all London 2014-2019) as well as internationally in Europe and the USA. She has an MFA from Goldsmiths and lectures in Fine Art at Camberwell College and Arts University Bournemouth.
Lori E. Allen (b.1975, St. Louis, Missouri) is a sound composer and video artist. Drawing from a background in archaeology, she interprets, audio-visual landscapes through a process of ‘reverse excavation’. Her source material are the bodiless objects generated between broadcast, reception, and thought, body and consciousness. She has performed at the Tate Modern South Tanks, the Chisenhale, CCA Glasgow, and released on The Tapeworm.