Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

The Chicago Athletic Association excitedly welcomes Petra Bachmaier to discuss her dynamic collaborative art practice which has captivated the eyes and minds of Chicago and beyond. And Mimi Zeiger, a Los Angeles-based Critic, Editor, and Curator to moderate this conversation.

“For more than 10 years, Luftwerk have created art installations that merge elements of light and video with facets of architecture and design. Their 2010 commission to create a new media exhibit for the centennial celebration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House helped them discover a deeper resonance with architecture and pursue and a growing interest in how experiences of space and site are augmented through light and sound. With immersive works at sites such as Fallingwater, Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, Tampa’s Kiley Garden, Chicago’s Millennium Park, the Garfield Park Conservatory to name a few, their artwork blends history, architecture, and contemporary media to open new aesthetic conversations within public spaces. Projects to date have been featured in periodicals such as Architectural Record, Dwell, The Creators Project, design boom, and more. Recent awards include an Endorsement Award for Innovation from Surface Magazine, a Media Art Award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and featured projects honored by the American for the Arts Public Art Network (PAN). Petra Bachmaier, originally from Munich, works collaboratively with her partner Sean Gallero. The duo met during studies at SAIC and formed Luftwerk in 2007.” – David Zivan

MDP Design Dialogues Symposium + Exhibition with Tim Durfee, Ben Hooker, and Mimi Zeiger
November 17–26, 2016
November 17, 2016, 6:30–9 pm
SYMPOSIUM + OPENING RECEPTION

The Algorithm in the Room: An Evening of the Post-Geographic brings together an interdisciplinary group of designers and thinkers to discuss relationships between algorithmic and spatial practices. The algorithm in the room is the unspoken technological subject that reorients our understanding of design outcomes, ethics/politics, and authorship. Yet to concretize the algorithm, to try to peg down its functional uses within design is to misunderstand its potentially slippery (and productive) role as a bad collaborator. Feral and unpredictable, it provokes human, systemic, and urbanistic response. Via conversations and through digital, video, and screen-based works, this symposium and exhibition looks to raise difficult questions regarding the politics of predictive/automatized software, its architectural and urban impacts, and the aftereffects of recalibrated design agency. Speakers include: Jeff Maki, urban strategist and Joanne McNeil, writer. Videos exhibited by John Szot Studio, Tim Durfee + Ben Hooker, Jenny Rodenhouse.
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When media artist Refik Anadol arrived at Los Angeles International Airport in 2012, the first thing he did was rent a car and drive to Walt Disney Concert Hall. Jet-lagged after his long flight from Istanbul, where he was born and was immersed from an early age in computing, cinema, and photography, he stood outside in awe. “I was dreaming of what would happen if this building was embedded with memories, intelligence, and culture,” says Anadol. Read More …

“If all possible old building stock in Los Angeles was converted to creative office space, that still wouldn’t meet the demand for creative offices,” a commercial real estate broker once explained to me.

At the time, his company was trying to crack the workplace code: how to cater to the technology sector’s voracious taste for converted industrial warehouses and lofts? Established tech companies and startups alike had aligned the rough-and-ready aesthetics of the artist studio with the well-worn terms of Silicon Valley – disruption, innovation, and flexibility. Read More …

A collaboration between Mimi Zeiger and Neil Donnelly

#platform is both a means of production and a place to take a stand.

#platform project is a collaborative publication and act of collective criticism.

#platform’s physical documents navigate back into the city, lingering as messages.

For the past four years, participants in the School of Visual Arts Summer Design Writing and Research Intensive in New York have used Twitter to document, research, and critique the city. The social media platform acts as a productive constraint, distilling individual observations and narratives into a public, digital text. Read More …

Art Center College of Design / Media Design Practices
Curators: Tim Durfee and Mimi Zeiger

2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture: Re-Living The City
Former Dacheng Flour Factory & 8# Warehouse, Shenzhen

Winner of UABB Bronze Dragon award.

Now, There: Scenes from the Post-Geographic City unpacks the practices, rituals, and epistemologies that traditionally delimit the understanding of the city in terms of geographic, material, and economic parameters. Now, more than ever, urban and digital realms are inextricably linked. This exhibition presents a selection of screen-based works, objects, and texts that develop, explore, and visualize a city that is not tied to any physical locality. Now, There, however, understands this resulting networked city a place in its own right, albeit one shaped by experiences contingent on media and devices, flows of data, and the demands of global technology. As such, it too is open to a retroactive assessment of what is now and where is there.

In looking at what we call Scenes from the Post-Geographic City, our perspective is neither dystopian nor boosterish. We are not interested in sci-fi moralizing or video game nihilism. Rather, we take an optimistic view of this emergent urban condition and material culture—understanding that the effects of so much intimidating change can nevertheless be explored and appreciated—perhaps co-opted—with curiosity and humor in a way that designers and architects and filmmakers have been occasionally adept at in the past.

Now, There includes works by Besler & Sons, Walton Chu, Tim Durfee and Ben Hooker (with Jenny Rodenhouse), John Szot Studio, m-a-u-s-e-r, and Metahaven, as well as texts by Joanne McNeil, Enrique Ramirez, and Therese Tierney.

The gesture was more graceful than the act. With one generous flick of the wrist I sent the paperback sailing across the room. The book, The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present, is a small volume tri-authored by an intellectual supergroup: novelist and artist Douglas Coupland, international curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, and cultural critic Shumon Basar. In wry deference to its subject, the cover is inked in an oil slick chromo metallic. As Earthquakes arced from the couch to the closet door, which it hit with a thud before dropping to the floor, light reflected off its glistening surface, giving the appearance of a salmon spawning upstream.

(For the record, S,M,L,XL also boasts a silver cover, but I can’t imagine throwing the six-pound tome very far. Earthquakes, by contrast, is lightweight at 7.8 ounces).

When it landed, facedown, pages splayed and pressed against the floor, the half-light of the living room lamps seemed to illuminate a mysterious object. An alien ship crash-landed on oak boards. And so it sat there for a few days. Until my irritation with leaving a book on the floor trumped my irritation with the book itself and I picked it up. Read More …

The Chatter Chat series are salons held in conjunction with the Architecture and Design Department’s exhibition Chatter: Architecture Talks Back that use the exhibition as a platform to discuss critical issues in the field of contemporary architecture.

This Chatter Chat invites two architects and a writer, all of whom are featured in the exhibition, to frame their projects relative to history (as a precedent and as an element to build upon), as well as discuss the productive ways in which architecture can be communicated. Each panelist presents their work through this lens as a prompt for discussion among a panel of Chicago-based architects and scholars, offering up insights for questions such as:

How do architects summon the material, formal, and sociocultural lessons from history without being beholden to them?
How do we reframe architecture through history’s most valuable architectural inheritances?
How does communication advance architectural representation and discussion?
Can architecture be communicated in a way that goes beyond the approved (but void-of-content) press release?
Can it empower, challenge, reveal, critique, reinterpret, and diagnose the discipline and our times?

Presenters
Erin Besler, University of California Los Angeles
Urtzi Grau, Fake Industries Architecture Agonism
Mimi Zeiger, critic, editor, curator, and instigator

Interlocutors
Grant Gibson, CAMES/Gibson
Ellen Grimes, School of the Art Institute
Jonathan Mekinda, UIC
Agata Siemionow, Illinois Institute of Technology

Moderator
Iker Gil, director of MAS Studio and editor in chief of MAS Context

Exhibition catalogue launch and signing follows the roundtable discussion.

Curators: Karen Kice, with Iker Gil

Mimi Zeiger and Neil Donnelly with the School of Visual Arts Summer Design Writing and Research Intensive

Architecture is a perpetual conversation between the present and the past, knowing full well that the future is listening. So what happens when this dialogue is influenced by contemporary modes of communication such as texting, Twitter, and Instagram? Chatter happens: ideas are developed, produced, and presented as open-ended or fragmented conversations and cohere through the aggregation of materials. Chatter: Architecture Talks Back looks at the diverse contemporary methods and approaches wielded by five emerging architects: Bureau Spectacular, Erin Besler, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, Formlessfinder, and John Szot Studio. Read More …

“The cavalry isn’t coming,” said indie movie director Mark Duplass, kicking off his keynote address at last month’s SXSW Film Festival.

I was in Austin, Texas, for a panel on architecture and civic participation with Mexico City architect Michel Rojkind and local technologist Leslie Wolke as part of SXSW Interactive. At SXSW, film and interactive run simultaneously the week before the famous music festival gets loud. And although design was somewhat of a running theme on the tech side, with talks by design world thought leaders Paola Antonelli and John Maeda as well as dozens of sessions with design in the title, I found myself drawn to the conversations happening in film. Read More …