The Research Center for Proxy Politics aims to explore and reflect upon the nature of medial networks and their actors, that is, machines and things as well as humans. The proxy, a decoy or surrogate, is today often used to designate a computer server acting as an intermediary for requests from clients. Originating in the Latin procurator, an agent representing others in a court of law, proxies are now emblematic of a post-representational political age, one increasingly populated by bot militias, puppet states, ghostwriters, and communication relays. During the period of the project (September 2014 to August 2017) the center will host a series of workshops at the Universität der Künste, Berlin, revolving around a wide range of relevant topics including the politics of digital networks, the political economy of crypto-currencies, the genealogy of networked thought, the mediality of physical landscapes and strategies of opacity. The center will also conduct material, experimental, investigations into the conception and construction of alternative networks, or alternets.
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(Screening) 29/01 2015  18:00

All That Is Solid

Louis Henderson

All That is Solid (2014) HD 15’26”

Later that evening we’ll host Louis Henderson for a screening his most recent film All That is Solid. The screening will be followed by a a discussion.

Produced for the 59th Salon de Montrouge – Paris – with support from Ekimetrics. Featuring music by Joseph Munday and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe

This is a film that takes place. In between a hard place, a hard drive, and an imaginary, a soft space – the cloud that holds my data. And in the soft grey matter, Contained within the head.

As technological progress pushes forward in the west, enormous piles of obsolete computers are thrown away and recycled. Pushed out of sight and sent to the coast of West Africa these computers end up in waste grounds such as Agbogbloshie in Accra, Ghana. On arrival the e-waste is recuperated by young men, who break and burn the plastic casings in order to extract the precious metals contained within. Eventually the metals are sold, melted and reformed into new objects to be sold – it is a strange system of recycling, a kind of reverse neocolonial mining, whereby the African is searching for mineral resources in the materials of Europe. Through showing these heavy processes, the video highlights the importance of dispelling the capitalist myth of the immateriality of new technology to reveal the mineral weight with which the Cloud is grounded to its earthly origins. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/102666180

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