news release: November 2003

Calling All Agents
General Secretary’s Report to the International Necronautical Society
Transmission, Death, Technology

20pp, with diagram
190 x 254 mm, paperback
ISBN 978-0-9520274-8-5

INS General Secretary Tom McCarthy's second report to the International Necronautical Society analyses and maps the testimony of the witnesses arraigned at the Second First Committee Hearings held at London's Cubitt Gallery in 2002 on the subjects of wireless communication, cryptography and broadcasting. McCarthy develops the themes of encoding, encryption and entombment, transmission, subjectivity and death, as a model for the INS's own Radio Broadcasting Network which will be installed at ICA, London, in 2004.

The Report was delivered to the first public session of the INS Communications and Encodings Subcommittee held at the ICA before the press and public.

In Cocteau's 1950 film Orphée, in scenes modelled on the secret communications networks operated by the Résistance during the Second World War, the hero hears lines of coded radio transmissions from a dead poet. In Calling All Agents, INS General Secretary Tom McCarthy argues that this conjunction of the technological, the aesthetic and the political is loaded with contemporary significance. He maps the transmission-reception figure across Freud, Heidegger, Hergé, Burroughs and Nabokov, the invention of the telephone and the discovery of Tutenkhamun, connecting it with contemporary artistic strategies and wireless technologies.

Launched in 1999 by Tom McCarthy, the International Necronautical Society is an expansive, networked organisation that slides between the worlds of art, fiction, philosophy and media. The organisation has been described as ‘replaying the avant-garde along the fault-line of death.’

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.

Future project: INS Inspectorate Mission to Berlin
The INS Inspectorate will conduct a series of examinations, assessments, interviews, fieldwork, presentations and reports. These will revolve around core INS concerns: space and territory; marking and erasure; transit, transformation and transition; broadcasting and propaganda; death.

International Necronautical Society (INS)
Calling All Agents
archived news releases and press photos

Issued by Anthony Auerbach, INS Chief of Propaganda (Archiving and Epistemological Critique) via official agents.

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