Calling All Agents: Transmission, Death, Technology
General Secretary's Report to the International Necronautical Society
report with diagram
20pp, 254 x 190 mm, paperback
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 the model for the INS's own Radio Broadcasting Unit which was installed at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, in 2004.
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.