Abbas Zahedi | abbzah | Survival Conceptualist*

* Survivalist Conceptualism is a meta-mode of being, seeking to (re)configure The Order of Things, as *things* that need doing. Thus the evolution towards a framework of neo-diaspora is an effort to process and de-historicise my experience of migration, death and displacement. In its current form, I use this term alongside installations, performances and images, to highlight a sense of estrangement amidst hyper-connectivity. This method has developed its own poignancy in light of recent social and informatic shifts. Thus my phrasing follows on from this; expressing that I can no longer relate to the notion of diaspora in the traditional sense - as a movement referring to margins and metropoles. But instead, my relation to it has become a paradox of survival, within a complex and transitional state of belonging to multiple imaginal spaces.

My earlier practicing of stone-carving, geometric drawing and calligraphy emerged out of a desire to learn the cultural syntax of my Iranian heritage. It then became a process of crafting shapes, which I could photograph and use to explore the poetics of my own writing and performance. In experiencing this transition - towards-and-away-from an order of forms - I realised that my draw to traditionalism was the result of a very present preoccupation with identity and maternal DNA activations. This rendered my curiosity towards establishing embodied processes, which could inhabit latent potential and bypass my scientific training. This shift caused crucial learnings to occur, enabling me to access contemporary ideas around art, philosophy and poetics; forming the basis of a neuro-diverse approach to research. It was at this stage that I realised many neo-diasporic psyches do not inherit the Kantian leap - a pre-requisite to modern practice. So I had to endure the trauma of the abyss, plus ongoing negotiations with ancestral trajectories.

A good deal of my current work seeks to expand my understanding of world beyond analytical frames, via imaginal re-programmings of Islamic and Avestan cosmologies. Opening up space for a discourse of intuition, on dissolution and performative subjectivity. My desire to go beyond the image, moves me to render language as a solvent for significance. The resulting pursuit enters at the limits of hyper-fluid consciousness - a critical juncture where one diasporic phase morphs into another - such that Geo becomes Neo, whilst Ana falls into Ata. This paves the way to orientate myself without the need for a sense of self. Whilst still allowing for the embrace of meta-signifiers, which are fully immersed, intimate and free to move in multiple simultaneous directions.