news release: September 2003
INS announces a purge of its First Committee
A proclamation issued today on behalf of the International Necronautical Society (INS) Executive Council reveals that nearly all the members of the INS First Committee at its founding in 1999 have been expelled. Writers ----- -----, ---- ------, ----- ----, ---- ------ and researcher ----- -------- have forfeited their positions for various ideological misconceptions and distractions. The restructured First Committee now benefits from a wider range of expertise dedicated to the necronautical project. The INS calls upon artist Anthony Auerbach (Chief of Propaganda, Archiving and Epistemological Critique), academic Simon Critchley (Chief Philosopher), set designer Laura Hopkins (Chief Environmental Engineer) and aerial performer Isabel Rocamora (First Flight Officer).
[Modification, 8/2/09: The names of former committee-members expelled from the INS have been suppressed by order of the INS Executive Council. A statement will be issued shortly.]
Founder and surviving General Secretary, Tom McCarthy says:
Actually, these changes have taken place over the last couple of years, but the announcement is timely as we are now embarking on our most important projects to date: after the publication of my Second Report to the First Committee] an analysis of the findings from the Second First Committee Hearings "Transmission, Death, Technology" [Cubitt Gallery, 2002]we will be setting up our radio broadcast station at the ICA. In addition, we are preparing the mission of the INS Inspectorate to Berlin which will also take place next year.
McCarthy also points out that the appointments reflect more subtle changes or shifts in emphasis in INS policy, as is suggested by the comments in the text of the announcement. McCarthy, furthermore, expresses the wish that the announcement should help prevent public misunderstanding of the organisation as well as suppress dissent within.
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.
What follows is a verbatim transcript of INS Official Document TMcC150903.
Title: First Committee Purges
Type: INS proclamation
Authorised: First Committee, INS
Authorisation Code: TMcC150903
In accordance with the proclamation of the INS Executive Council, the following have been dismissed from the INS First Committee:
- ----- ----- and ---- ------ are expelled as they have become complicit with a publishing industry whereby the 'writer' becomes merely the executor of a brief dictated by corporate market research, reasserting the certainties of middle-brow aesthetics ('issues' of 'contemporary culture', 'post-colonial identity' etc.) under the guise of genuine creative speculation. The INS Executive Council expresses some sympathy towards both ----- and ------, and recognises that they had to write 'to order' in this way in order to be published by the corporate presses in the first place. However, their decision to do so renders them useless to the INS.
- ----- -------- demonstrated his unworthiness for the post of Head Philosopher by asking to leave the INS. Since Paragraph Three of the First Manifesto of Necronautism states that 'We are all necronauts, always, already,' 'unbecoming' one is not an option. In attempting to resign from the organisation, -------- failed to understand that one cannot leave the organisation, and is consequently expelled from the organisation.
- ----- ---- is expelled with regret. Having accepted the task of conducting research into the possibility of synthesising Thanadrine in his role as Head of the INS's Techno-Chemical Division, he has rendered himself useless to the INS as a result of drug dependency in the form of an addiction to the self-serving Marxist mannerism that is the opiate of the hypocritical bourgeoisie.
- At the First Committee Hearings, Lux Gallery, London, 1999, ---- ------ accepted the role of Experimental Volunteer. However, despite submitting a well-researched report into a police reconstruction of a missing girl's last movements (to be published shortly on the INS's website), at no point since 1999 has he deliberately placed his life in danger, nor has he been involved in a serious accident, outbreak of disease or natural disaster. ------ is therefore expelled from the INS for not being dead.
In accordance with the proclamation of the INS Executive Council, the following have been appointed to the INS First Committee:
- Laura Hopkins is appointed to the post of Environmental Engineer, having impressed the INS Executive Council with her work at the English National Opera and Globe Theatre and subsequently under contract for the INS in November 2002, when she created an environment in the Cubitt Gallery for the Second First Committee Hearings: Transmission, Death, Technology that appropriated and repurposed the formal aspects of both the House Un-American Activities Hearings and the interrogation scenes in Jean Cocteau’s Orphée and Le Testament d’Orphée. Since the Shooting History Project at the DasArts Foundation in September-October 2001, notions of event-space and event-structure have become prominent within INS thinking, and environmental Engineering has consequently become a major facet of the INS’s work.
- Simon Critchley is formally appointed to the post of Chief Philosopher, having already acted unofficially in this capacity for a number of years by infecting the bloodstream of an otherwise un-necronautical Anglo-American philosophical culture with the viral and necrotic work of continental philosophers such as Blanchot, Heidegger, Levinas and Derrida, through his publication of works such as Very LittleÞ Almost Nothing: Death, Philosophy, Literature and The Ethics of Deconstruction. Since he has been openly collaborating with the INS from 2000 onwards, and continues to work closely with General Secretary Tom McCarthy co-authoring papers elaborating the relationship between death, money, meaning and ethics in the work of Joyce and Shakespeare, subsequently using the international conferences at which these papers are delivered as recruitment grounds for INS associates, and in view of his impending move from London to New York where he will take up the post of Head of Philosophy at the New School, the INS Executive Council consider that he is henceforth of more value to the organisation as an official spokesman than as a covert agent.
- Anthony Auerbach is appointed as Chief of Propaganda (Archiving and Epistemological Critique). The INS's increasing activity in the fields of communications, publishing and media manipulation, infiltration and control has necessitated the appointment of a propagandist at a high level within the organisation. The INS holds that the theory of knowledge should be the organisation's chief instrument of internal security and it is in accordance with the necronautical project's anti-positivistic approach that the history of the organisation should be entrusted to a propagandist. Auerbach also serves on the INS Communications and Encodings Group, which is currently configuring the INS Radio Broadcast Station (to be hosted at ICA, London, April 2004) and is preparing aerial reconnaissance strategies for the INS Inspectorate mission to Berlin (2004).
- Isabel Rocamora is appointed to the post of First Flight Officer. Having worked for several years as an 'anti-gravity artist', presenting aerial performances at venues such as Tate Modern, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Banff Centre, Canada, and in view of her past collaborations with the admirably necrospatially-aware novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet, who attempted to seduce her, and the late astronaut David Brown, who taught her to fly aeroplanes, Rocamora is considered by the Executive Council a desirable, if flighty, First Committee member. Her role, complimenting the research currently being carried out by Chief Obituary Reviewer Melissa McCarthy and Head of Propaganda Anthony Auerbach into aerial photography, will involve lofty suspension from the First Committee, a state of being both attached to and aloof from the latter, like a tethered balloon.
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.