Zeiger’s Zine Scene

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Published January 8, 2009

Photo by Mimi Zeiger

Fans of Pin-Up, the gold-covered New York-based publication that mixes architecture and bondage at will, will be pleased to note that it comes out of a long line of magazines, available via the mail but not necessarily naughty. Mimi Zeiger is a self-described “old zinester,” who printed the first issue of her zine about architecture, loudpaper, as a graduate student at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. It was her graduate thesis, and she printed it on paper from de-commissioned maps and put a picture of Elvis on top. More recently, Zeiger added an online component,  her blog; now she is re-visiting zine history with A Few Zines, an exhibition that opens tonight at Columbia’s Studio X.

Upon its publication in 1996, loud paper joined Lackluster, Infiltration, Dodge City Journal, and Monorail as alternatives to trade and academic journals by mixing architecture and pop culture and cultivating a social aspect. To hear Zeiger tell it, publishing architecture zines was part of a vital network of sub-cultures. Zeiger’s was her interest in the Indie music scene: “You couldn’t miss it,” she says, “I was more of arty kid than a punk rock kid. You found your way through sub-cultures.” She compares the types of connections to a Facebook network today, as a community where acquaintances for whom it was relatively easy to reach out. It also brought advertisers together with writers; “Ads were part of the editorial” says Zeiger, describing ads for Dischord Records laid out alongside MIT Press. People have stayed involved, opening magazines of significant distribution like Dwell and American Craft.

 

The exhibition focuses on material form the mid-90s through today, although the exhibited works “notoriously do not have a date on them,” and is organized in full runs, and displayed so that visitors can flip through them. Everything going to get mixed up

The exhibition opens tonight with a panel that considers the future of zines, and blogs. Says Zeiger, I fully admit that there are things happening that kids are doing that I’m missing. I would love it if the outcome were to learn more.”

Here Interview asked Zeiger to name her favorite blogs:

 

Where Blog: “An urbanism blog, moving to a collaborative model”

a456:
“Architecture from an arch-history/lit/film perspective”

Varnelis.net:
Network culture all the way

2thewalls: “It’s just badass interior design, that’s all.”

Strangeharvest.com:  written by Sam Jacobs of FAT (fashion/taste/architecture), Sam cuts through the best of high and low culture with a keen eye for the tasty obscure bits

 

The exhibition launch and panel take place tonight at 6:30 PM. Studio-X is located at 180 Varick Street, Suite 1610, New York. A Few Zines: Dispatches from the Edge of Architectural Production is on view through February 28.