FRIEZE Artist Award 2022

 Open Mic Open Call

Artist Abbas Zahedi is inviting proposals from visual artists, activists, musicians and spoken word artists to participate in daily Open Mic sessions, as part of his new work Waiting With Sonic Support, co-commissioned by Frieze and Forma for the Frieze Artist Award 2022. 

The Open Mic sessions aim to establish a communal space for participation, exchange and a prototype for a new form of civic infrastructure, where utopian daydreaming can be a tool to blur concrete conceptions of inside and outside. 

The open mic sessions will take place before a live audience in an outdoor ‘bus stop’ structure co-designed by Abbas Zahedi, Harley Gray, Basement94 and Bassam Ibellini; and located by the entrance of the fair, during Frieze London (12-16 October 2022).

The sessions will also be live-streamed and accessible via a listening post inside the fair and on Frieze’s media channels.

Participants to the Open Mic sessions will be offered 1 Pass to Frieze London and Frieze Masters fairs (access to both fairs for one participant and a guest) and a 1-Year Subscription to Frieze in Depth membership. (

To apply for one of the Open Mic slots please complete this form.


The transmissions will take place in this structure just outside of the Frieze London main entrance and then be streamed via a laptop connected to a PA system into the fair.


This bench arrangement is a stripped down version of the above bus stop design and will host a series of headphones which people can use to listen in on the live streams being transmitted outside which will run on a loop throughout the whole duration of the fair.

Concept and philosophy of the work

Title: Waiting With {Sonic Support}, 2022

Waiting With {Sonic Support}, 2022, is a prototype for a new form of civic infrastructure;
conflating multiple sites: a bus stop – more generally, a public waiting area – a DIY
bandstand, and a public support space. Responding to the particularities of Frieze London,
Abbas Zahedi’s site-sensitive installation activates the fair’s threshold, to establish a
speculative transport system for utopian daydreaming between its inside and outside.
Developed from Jean-Paul Sartre’s notion of bus stops as places to ‘achieve practical and
theoretical participation in common being’, one first encounters Waiting With {Sonic Support}
whilst approaching Frieze London. Echoing the form of a Central Asian Soviet-Era bus stop, Abbas’ co-designed waiting zone is a site of ensemble; a place where one can depart from the isolated individuality of our contemporary age – Sartre’s ‘plurality of isolations’ – by
convening with others in a common interconnected space.

During Frieze London, this temporary structure will serve as a ‘metatopian’ performative
environment, that hosts a number of open mic activations. Selected through an open
submissions process, these open mics not only extend a gesture of conviviality to other
artists and performers but allude to Abbas’ early creative practice as an emcee, spoken-
word poet, and community organiser. Embracing the legacies of DIY and pirate radio, each
of these open-mic ensembles will be broadcast live into the heart of the Frieze London tent.
Here, an indoor version of the installation will allow those inside to tune into the active space

Frieze Artist Award 2022 is co-commissioned and co-produced by Frieze and Forma.

More information about the Frieze Artist Award: