Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

Join us at USC School of Architecture for a lecture by Mimi Zeiger.

Trained as an architect, critic Mimi Zeiger tracts the rise of publishing as practice through her own work. Memos from the Front Line rejects the binary of the print and digital divide and suggests that the commingling of the analog and algorithmic creates rich territory for cultural production, criticism, and architectural experimentation.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | 2pm
Gin Wong Conference Center
Harris Hall 101

“Ordinary life is receiving powerful impulses from a new source. Where thirty years ago architects found in the field of the popular arts techniques and formal stimuli, today we are being edged out of our traditional role by the new phenomenon of the popular arts advertising,” wrote Alison and Peter Smithson in their classic 1956 essay, “But Today We Collect Ads.” For these architects teetering on the edge of modernism it was ephemera—”the piece of paper blowing about the street, the throw-away object and the pop-package”—that was redefining the everyday. Read More …

Late 90s. Print was probably already dead then. It had taken too many phone calls to find a cheap offsetter. Indie bookstores feared the big boxes cutting in on their Thirdspace. Distributors, bowing to shelving and stocking requirements laid down by the chain store, put limits on the sizes of independent magazines. (This was around the time Metropolis magazine dropped from full tabloid to its current shelf-friendly size.)

Still, I was blissed out on the print shop’s Thomas Paine authenticity. I figured it’d gloss my tracks with a meaning and texture not found with rapid digital printing. The details: the smell of ink, rich and bitter like coffee, the Berkeley Co-op apron worn by the grizzled anarchist, the cranky press he quietly turned, and his punk rock partner’s punctilious manner. I can’t remember if I printed 500 or 1,000 copies. Some sit in a box in the basement. On my last visit home I opened it up: A hundred ochre-covered pamphlets, surprisingly un-yellowed a decade on. Read More …