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.

(Presentation) 02/12 2017  3PM @ Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

RCPP @ 1948 Unbound


In their presentation The City and Its Double, Vera Tollmann and Boaz Levin (RCPP) unravel the history of the City of London Corporation as an example for the intertwining of information and sovereignty.

The City of London Corporation, whose origins can be traced back to at least 1067, is the oldest local authority in the United Kingdom, and has an unusually wide range of responsibilities. Nowadays, the Corporation exemplifies a unique form of governance: an amalgam of absolutist obscurity, medieval custom, and twenty-first century, high-speed, financial prowess.

Tollmann and Levin invite the audience to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the ever-pervasive, hidden geography, infrastructure and jurisdiction of the City of London Corporation, on site in London, around offshore archipelagos and in the virtual datasphere. While money flows have become increasingly opaque, tools for digital mapping on the other hand have become more and more accessible to re-territorialize addresses, ownership and registration.

Through the history of the City, RCPP explore proxy structures that negotiate the functional immediacy of traditional governance structures, in their strange and opaque layers of complexity.