Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

Curators: Mario Ballesteros, Andrea Dietz, Sarah Lorenzen, and Mimi Zeiger
 

Artists and writers: Frida Escobedo, Aris Janigian, Pedro&Juana, Tezontle, Katya Tylevich, and David Ulin

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences, Los Angeles with Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design and Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura.

Tu casa es mi casa features site-specific installations by three Mexico City–based design teams—Frida Escobedo, Pedro&Juana, and Tezontle, and three California-based writers—Aris Janigian, Katya Tylevich, and David Ulin.

If our contemporary political moment offers up a border wall as the primary architectural expression of connection between the U.S. and Mexico, Tu casa es mi casa suggests a more porous boundary between the two countries. The title, a riff on the welcoming “my house is your house,” offers the inverted “your house is my house”—an expression of the personal and political stakes of this transposition.

Installed in Richard Neutra’s VDL Research House in Los Angeles and in collaboration with Mexico City–based gallery Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura, Tu casa es mi casagrapples with questions about architectural space, mass production, and domesticity within the legacy of modernism. Both Mexico City and Los Angeles absorbed the initial precepts of the international movement and adapted them to singular social-political-environmental contexts. A return to these twin interpretations re-investigates the promises of the utopian project through a contemporary lens.

Timed to coincide with The Getty’s Pacific Standard Time LA/LA, the exhibition acknowledges a history of architectural, critical, and literary exchange between California and Mexico, however the curators ask that we not only reevaluate past understandings, but also celebrate the richness of contemporary Mexican design practice today.

Tu casa es mi casa is supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, Bestor Architecture, Michael Maltzan Architects, NAC Architecture, TEN Arquitectos with additional support from Aesop, Bar Keeper and Mezcal Union, Triview Glass Industries LLC, Cal Poly Pomona Department of Architecture (CPP ARC), SCI-Arc, USC School of Architecture, and Woodbury University School of Architecture.

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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Letters to the Mayor: Lisbon presents a collection of letters written by architects to Fernando Medina, bringing pressing issues and new ideas to the desk of Lisbon’s newly elected mayor.

Letters to the Mayor: Lisbon takes place as part of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale (4e), and is the 12th edition of Letters to the Mayor, a project initiated by Storefront for Art and Architecture in 2014.

This project invites architects to write letters to their mayors, initiating a dialogue between those who represent a city and those that build it. International iterations, organized in partnership with local institutions and individuals, bring the project to cities and towns across the globe. Each of the iterations share three common elements: an exhibition of letters addressed to the mayor, a Mayoral Desk and Architect’s Table, and a wallpaper that reflects ideas and issues unique to each city. The desk and table, as well as the wallpaper, are designed by local architects, artists, and designers, and reflect upon the role of the architect in the construction of the future of the contemporary city.

Letters to the Mayor: Lisbon is curated by Ivo Poças Martins. 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.

First published in the exhibition catalogue for Vacancy: Urban Interruption and (Re)generation, edited by curator Neysa Page-Lieberman. (You can download a PDF of the catalogue or order the hard copy through the Glass Curtain Gallery.) Read More …

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 …

Host curators are Mimi Zeiger (Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design), Leonardo Bravo and River Jukes-Hudson (Big City Forum), and Sarah Lorenzen (Neutra VDL Research House).

This fall, curators from three Los Angeles-based organizations come together as part of World Wide Storefront, a Storefront for Art and Architecture project, to present Host: Natural Histories for Los Angeles. This series of exhibitions and events is a collaboration between Big City Forum, Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, and the Neutra VDL Research House.

Host: Natural Histories for Los Angeles explores the multivalent meaning of “host” though spectacle, parasitic opportunism, and domestic landscapes. The Neutra VDL Research House serves as the site of these investigations and the house, embedded with spatial effects—mirrors, screens, and pools of water—heightens and confuses the relationship between the domestic interior and the exterior.  Read More …

The Los Angeles Seminary for Embodied and Civic Arts and its extended community present Sundown Stock & Exchange. This Labor Day weekend marketplace explores the social, economic, creative, and communal nature of work. Participants and visitors pause, perform, and posture actions that reveal embodied relations to labor and production. Work is offered for barter, exchange, negotiation and sale. Visitors are also encouraged to bring personal belongings and valuables to exchange. Programming includes street sales, artist advisory services, in-house production, screenings and more.

Curated and organized by Reid Ulrich. Contributors & Participants: Amanny Ahmad, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Mark Allen, Maura Brewer, Danielle Bustillo, Joey Cannizzaro, Carey Chiaia, Alexis Disselkoen, Zackary Drucker, Lauren Elder, EARL GRAVY, Maya Gingery, Paige Gratland, Fritz Haeg, Matt Merkel Hess, Hesse Press, Bettina Hubby, Iko Iko, Helena Keeffe, Los Angeles Museum of Art, Emily Marchand, Ian Markell, Metonym, Public Fiction, Anna Ruetinger, Justin Stadel, Thank You For Coming, Reid Ulrich, Rosten Woo, Lucas Wrench and Mimi Zeiger.

As a civic figure, the architect has the privilege and responsibility to articulate and translate the collective aspirations of society, and specifically of those not able to sit at the decision-making tables.

Throughout history, architects have engaged with this responsibility and the structures of economic, political and cultural power in different ways and with varying degrees of success. With the rise of globalization and the homogenization of the contemporary city, the role of the architect in the political arena has often been relegated to answering questions that others have asked. While designing the next economically driven cultural-iconic-touristic object, an increasing amount of both architects and with them, politicians, have forgotten the ethics that should be associated with architectural practice and the potential of design in the construction of public life.  Read More …

Dear Mayor Garcetti,

“The best place to view Los Angeles of the next millennium is from the ruins of its alternative future.”
—Mike Davis, City of Quartz (1990)

“L.A. WANTS 2 HELP U”
—Billboard Oracle, L.A. Story (1991)

What is the future of Los Angeles? This is the question everyone is asking. And it is the perennial question posed by everyone from William Mulholland to Walt Disney to Frank Gehry. In each casting of the runes, the city is both subject and object. It is a place where the wind rustling the bougainvillea is a siren song and the Santa Ana’s blowing down palm fronds is an omen. But you know this, my fellow Angelino. Just as you know that The Los Angeles 2020 Commission wrinkles its collective brow with concern as it evaluates the next six years and that the LA2050 initiative (funded by the Goldhirsh Foundation) foresees an optimistic, crowdsourced metropolis. Read More …