International Necronautical Society INS Inspectorate Berlin
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New release issued by INS Department of Propaganda, 6 July 2004

International Necronautical Society Inspectorate: Mission to Berlin

Advance Reconnaissance, July 2004: Public briefing notes

The International Necronautical Society
Founded in 1999 by Tom McCarthy, the International Necronautical Society (INS) is an expansive, networked organisation operating through several channels and at several levels in what General Secretary Tom McCarthy has called the ‘mediasphere’. INS investigations have been carried out through infiltration and discreet information gathering as well as in public hearings such as the Second First Committee Hearings: Transmission, Death, Technology (Cubitt Gallery, London, 2002). INS findings have been translated into public interventions through the medium of events, broadcasts, the news media, official publications such as the General Secretary’s Reports (Navigation Was Always a Difficult Art, 2002, and Calling All Agents, 2003) and through the activities of the INS Department of Propaganda. In April 2004 the INS Radio Broadcasting Unit was installed at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, to coincide with the granting of a temporary FM transmission licence.

The Project
There is nothing mysterious about the Necronautical project. The aim announced in the First Manifesto of exploring, mapping and colonising the space of death does not suggest a 'beyond' of which we have knowledge, nor, emphatically, the spurious tales and consoling fictions reproduced by culture. The space of death is traced in the boundaries, horizons and faults within art, literature and language; lines, moreover, which are not transgressed but are woven into the texture of our craft. Necronautical materialism has no message from the 'other side' but is a technique for subjecting event, performance, text and map to rigorous examination and transformation.

Surveillance of the city of Berlin is carried out under the authority of the INS Inspectorate established by the INS First Committee in 2003. In the course of its mission, the Inspectorate will conduct a series of examinations, interrogations and assessments as well as fieldwork in the city. The Inspectorate’s brief reflects the key INS concern of investigating the fault-lines in culture: between literature and philosophy, art and propaganda, fiction and phantasmagoria, territory and map.

The instructions issued by the INS First Committee detail a series of operations under the rubrics of the INS central interests: marking and erasure, transit and transformation, cryptography and death. The inspectorate is instructed to make its findings public.

Advance Reconnaissance undertaken by INS General Secretary Tom McCarthy (with the assistance of Diana Baldon as scout and with the co-operation of Sparwasser HQ) has the following objectives:

A To identify and contact subjects for future in-depth interrogation, in particular among philosophers, cultural critics, writers and artists resident in the city. These results to be communicated to INS Chief Philosopher and Inspectorate Specialist Simon Critchley.

B To identify and recruit local informants and potential collaborators, in particular reliable people with the skills necessary to assist in future detailed surveillance operations.

C To identify and conduct preliminary assessment of specific sites and networks for future observation and analysis. These results to be communicated INS Specialists Anthony Auerbach (aerial reconnaissance/erasure and inscription) and Melissa McCarthy (pulses and flows/transfer, transport, transition and translation).

D To provide information to Berliners on past and present INS activities by means of art-spaces open to the public and local media outlets including newspapers, magazines, radio, television and internet.

Official INS propaganda may be freely distributed, distorted, appropriated or adapted as the reader sees fit.

Issued by Anthony Auerbach, INS Chief of Propaganda (Archiving and Epistemological Critique) 060704

The details
International Necronautical Society (INS) Advance Reconnaissance, 10–22 July 2004
Operating from: Sparwasser HQ, Offensive for Contemporary Art and Communication
Torstrasse 161, D - 10115 Berlin
Directions: U-Bahn Oranienburger Tor (U6), Rosenthaler Platz (U8)
T +49 30 21803001
Wednesday–Friday 1600–1900h, Saturday 1400–1800h
Admission Free

Saturday 10 July 2004, 1800h
Press conference and briefing session with INS General Secretary Tom McCarthy
Sparwasser HQ is pleased to host the temporary Berlin Office of the International Necronautical Society (INS).

'From the appropriation of bureaucratic language to meticulous reporting and documentation, everything about the INS has Kafkaesque overtones … belongs to the conceptual lineage of groups such as Laibach and the associated Neue Slovenische Kunst.' (The Wire, London, 2003)

‘a mysterious organisation hovering between the worlds of art, philosophy and espionage.’ (Blast Magazine, Paris, 2003)

'The INS stands for a horror of finished truths and a compulsive probing of the possibilities and failures of language… It satirises the old Avant Gardes by hinting at repressive undercurrents while suggesting, in effect, that their time has passed and today's cultural networks are based on virtual intimacies, like those that exist between radio operators and their listeners.' (Art Monthly, London, 2004)

Advance Reconnaissance is supported by The British Council and Sparwasser HQ.

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