2022 – 2023
Sonic Signals, 2022/2023, is a proposal for a new form of educational infrastructure; conflating and connecting multiple sites: a primary school, a radio club, and an artist-led multiverse.
Responding to the particularities of working with Eastside Projects and Chandos Primary School, this site-sensitive concept proposes a new kind of relationship between the two organisations, with the idea being to create a portal between the two spaces through which a potentially infinite loop of audio can be transmitted – messages moving from the school into the gallery, where the sonic signals received will be played openly for the public to hear.
What the children choose to send is completely up to them.
On a practical level, from January 2023 we have been running a weekly after-school Radio Club. Radio Club members Tolu, Ahmed, Rajveer (Pillow), Maya, Aryana, Salamatu, Azraah, Atiya (Mossie), Dhwani, Imaad, David, Safa and Saara have (amongst other things) been getting used to the sound of their own voices, learning to record sound, use mixing software, audio describe, interview people, and designing visual identities using handmade stamps and collage.
Alongside this Abbas is developing a series of resources and open-ended prompts which will be tested through workshops across the whole school over the spring and summer terms. Designed to invite a range of creative responses and generate new sonic signals, these tools will ultimately be available for other staff, schools and practitioners to use for their own projects and sonic workshops.
The broadcast will go live in the gallery at the start of June 2023, with an official launch for the July Digbeth First Friday. Students will also be encouraged to take their friends and family to the gallery and host listening sessions outside of school hours from the ‘other side’.
Abbas is working with Eastside Projects and Chandos Primary School as an Incidental Artist.
Abbas Zahedi (b. 1984, London, UK), studied medicine at University College London, before completing his MA in Contemporary Photography: Practices and Philosophies at Central Saint Martins in 2019. He blends contemporary philosophy, poetics, and social dynamics with performative and new-media modes. With an emphasis on how personal and collective histories interweave, Abbas makes connections whenever possible with people involved in the particular situations upon which he focuses. He lives and works in London.
Chandos is a giant primary school located in Highgate. We have many teachers, dinner ladies and teacher assistants.
Chandos School is part of the Elliott Foundation Academy Trust. There are eight year groups including reception and nursery.
Chandos School is on Vaughton St in Highgate. It is one street away from my house, near the Central Mosque, near St Albans Church, in Birmingham, West Midlands, Europe, Earth. Our postcode is B12 0YN.
Not all people are the same, there are different people and friends. Chandos is international and multicultural with different races and languages. We are kind. We care about other people. It is friendly and lovely and is a good environment.
Excerpts from an introduction for artists written by the Chandos Champions and the Arts Ambassadors – Kassiya, Kesi, Halima, Sakina, Yahya, Mayah, Taijuan, Lucas, Anshi, Rejwan, Sareenah, Yasin, Dariush, Amina, Azraah, and Aryan.
Radio Club has been made possible by a range of guest contributors alongside members of the Eastside Projects and Chandos School staff teams including:
Elaine Joseph, Sofia Niazi, Sam Coley, Peter Donnelly, Laura Grinvalde, Lenny Singh-Raud, Jaz Morrison, Dinosaur Kilby, Ruth Claxton, Lezli Howarth, Yuri Nishikawa, and Alex Cockell.