According to many social theorists, the world is getting smaller. Technology is continuously facilitating the process of globalization. Today, most of us are able to communicate with someone on the opposite side of the planet in an instant with the many evolving online platforms. A few keystrokes can cause a global movement. This ever-changing technology is speeding up globalization while simultaneously making us more isolated. More and more, people are slowly rejecting technology to reconnect to the physical world and real people. We are experiencing a return to analog. This return to the past—to an analog time—could be a metaphor for the West Berlin of the 1980s when most of the artists in MIA_BER: You Are Leaving the American Sector developed and creativity was at its peak in experimentation. Today, Berlin is still booming with creativity, but in creative industries including many tech start-ups. Present-day Berlin is “digital.” The comeback of the analog is not simply a nostalgia for the past, but instead a driving force of a post-digital era, where a new hybrid physical and digital—phygital—future is emerging. In this allegory, Berlin’s future is to be seen and redefined once again.
MIA_BER is an exhibition exchange project between ArtCenter and Verein Berliner Künstler, the oldest artist association of Berlin, founded in 1840. ArtCenter alumnus William Cordova curated the first exhibition, MIA_BER, with 22 Miami-based artists at the VBK Gallery in the summer of 2014. This MIA_BER exhibition features mostly German artists, many Wahl-Berliners (Berliners of choice), who have come to Berlin, a city filled with foreigners where English is as common as Spanish is in Miami. Miami also has experienced an influx of migrants, both national and international and for many of the same social, political, economic and cultural reasons.