This project is a document of self destruction and rebirth. The death of the self, of fear, of anger, of anxiety, of misery and how the weight of these things pushes one through transformation. Akin to a burning forest. Violent and destructive, consuming all life in its path and tearing down the old world but, in being a harbinger of death, it is also a giver of life. A new world is born from the ashes of the old. Sex is a background figure here but ever present; an undercurrent assuming many masks: a lover, a villain, a dealer, a scapegoat, a gravedigger, a mother, a companion, a friend. The album is intended to be understood in three acts: Act I (“The Itch”, tracks 01-06), Act II (“The Drift”, tracks 07-09), Act III (“The Dance, tracks 10-14). Each of these acts documents the three separate phases of death, transformation, and rebirth. The artwork reflects these themes in the juxtaposition between the eroding of how the death of self has been expressed in mythology and lore (how we wish things to be, how we wish to frame our desperate situation) and the decay of abandoned places (the reality of death; the cold apathy of it).
Based in Washington, D.C. with a background in Sacred Space/Cultural Studies in Architecture and Sustainable Design, John T Allen focuses on questions of temporality as explored through a body of work spanning over a decade in a wide range of mediums from mixed media to collage, digital art, photography, and music with a specific focus on prehistory, the built environment, and the natural world. Permian Designs represents the core of this ethos through visual media while its offshoot, A Virtual Memory [operating under the pseudonym “S. Taillifer” since 2017], explores these notions through sound in the form of a continuous, ever-evolving musical narrative.
All images by John T Allen (Permian Designs)