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 Universit√§t der K√ľnste, 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.

(Workshop) 12/12 2016  2 - 5 pm @ Hardenbergstr. 33, Raum 115

The Materiality of Bitcoin

Mick Halsband, Elad Verbin

What is bitcoin? What is blockchain? Let’s look under the hood and see what this machine is made of. In the workshop, we will examine the building blocks of cryptographic systems, e.g. simulation-based security, zero knowledge, one-way functions and others. We will also play with real-world metaphors for these concepts, translating them into tangible objects.

Elad Verbin received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Tel-Aviv University. He is an amateur futurologist, and works in data science, predictive modeling, and blockchain-based social change. In academia, he has worked on randomized algorithms and on computational impossibility results

Mick Halsband is an engineer, researcher and writer. He is interested in the intersections of media, philosophy, technology, science and economy. In the tech industry, he had worked on mobile devices, flight simulators, computer vision for cinematography and applied data science and machine learning for trading algorithms, amongst others.