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.

(Workshop) 03/02 2015  11:00-16:00

Securing the Social

Tiziana Terranova


This two-day workshop aims at critically exploring the topos of the network as the image of nodes and links remains the invariant topological constant of data visualisation in a disparate number of domains. In particular, the notion of ‘social network’ will be looked at by discussing the development of social network analysis and graph theory through a genealogy of dispositifs of security or control. Alternative ways of thinking about the nature of the social relation diagrammed by graph theory will be explored, as well as the notion of the aesthetic and cultural ‘experience of networking’.



Dildo-tectonics in action