Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

For the launch of the publication of InfraNet Lab/Lateral Office’s Pamphlet Architecture 30+, Coupling: Infrastructural Opportunism, Storefront staged Manifesto Series 02: Infrastructural Opportunism.

Many thanks to Mason, Lola, and Eva for inviting me to participate.

The awesome infrastructural lineup was:
MIMI ZEIGER on manifestos
INTERBORO on exclusion
DIANA BALMORI on realignments
JASON VIGNERI-BEANE on stripping down
ANDREW BLUM on tubes
JOYCE HWANG on interventions
MAMMOTH on expanding fields

To kick off the night, I presented An Infrastructure for Manifestos. AKA, a framework for manifesting built on pastiche. Here’s the cheat sheet:

1. REJECT all previous MANIFESTOS


“Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to infrastructure, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking designers only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the urban realm.”

(via Valerie Solanas, S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting Up Men) Manifesto, 1968)


“Infrastructuralism succeeds modernism as a new wave of systematic innovation. The style finally closes the period of uncertainty engendered by the crisis of modernism, marked by a series of short-lived episodes including postmodernism, deconstructivism, and minimalism. The new style claims universal relevance for all architectural programs, on all scales from architecture and interior design to large-scale urban design. Infrastructuralism is also uniquely geared to engage with the ecological challenges that architecture must address. Both in terms of techniques and in terms of sensibility, Infrastructuralist architecture is eager and able to elaborate adaptive responses to diverse environmental parameters.”

(via Patrik Schumacher, The Parametricist Manifesto, 2010)


“Literary establishment? Art establishment? Forget it. Infrastructural opportunists wear each other’s experiential data like waves of chaotic energy colliding and mixing in the textual-blood while the ever-changing flow of creative projects that ripple from their collective work floods the electronic cult-terrain with a subtle anti-establishment energy that will forever change the way we disseminate and interact with the city.”

(via Mark Amerika, Avant-Pop Manifesto, 1993)


“Our infrastructure is the building material of a revolutionary period, simultaneously the reaction of a world going under and the herald of a new era. For this reason it does not conform to the ideals of the first, while those of the second have yet to be formulated. But it is the expression of a life force that is all the stronger for being resisted….

The old infrastructure is too stale to serve as a drug any longer. The chalkings on pavements and walls clearly show that human beings were born to manifest themselves…. A bridge, a highway, a cell tower, or a digital network is not a composition of color and line but an animal, a night, a scream, a human being, or all of these things together. … Every natural or artificial form possesses for the active onlooker. This suggestive power knows no limits and so one can say that after a period in which it meant NOTHING, infrastructure has now entered an era in which it means EVERYTHING.”

(via Constant Nieuwenhuys, COBRA Manifesto, 1948)


“The last boss of Europe walked the streets without bodyguards.”

(via Rem Koolhaas, Icon Manifestos, 2007)


“Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Infrastructure is not necessarily good. Infrastructure is an exploration of unlit recesses (sewers, canals, tunnels) that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real infrastructure.

(via Bruce Mau, An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, 1998)


“By the grace of Heaven and in rare moments of inspiration which transcend the will, architecture may unconsciously blossom from the labour of his hand, but a base in infrastructure is essential to every urbanist.”

(via Walter Gropius, Bauhaus Manifesto, 1919)


“We will sing of great crowds excited by work, by pleasure, and by riot; we will sing of the multicolored, polyphonic tides of revolution in the modern capitals; we will sing of the vibrant nightly fervor of arsenals and shipyards blazing with violent electric moons; greedy railway stations that devour smoke-plumed serpents; factories hung on clouds by the crooked lines of their smoke; bridges that stride the rivers like giant gymnasts, flashing in the sun with a glitter of knives; adventurous steamers that sniff the horizon; deep-chested locomotives whose wheels paw the tracks like the hooves of enormous steel horses bridled by tubing; and the sleek flight of planes whose propellers chatter in the wind like banners and seem to cheer like an enthusiastic crowd.”

(via Marinetti, Futurist Manifesto, 1909)


“Seeking opportunistic associations between economy, ecology, politics, and information, coupling is not simply a combinatory exercise so much as a typological investigation into new spatial formats for the 21st century. “

(via Lateral Office, Coupling: Infrastructural Opportunism, Pamphlet Architecture #30, 2011)