The Necronautical Society - INS Events

INS Inspectorate Berlin

INS Inspectorate Berlin
Briefing documents issued by INS Department of Propaganda, November 2004

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 and 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 co-operation of Sparwasser HQ , 10–22 July 2004, had the following objectives:

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

Following the success of the Advance Reconnaissance Phase, INS First Committee requires historico-topographic data for its intelligence assessments concerning the city of Berlin. The INS Inspectorate is therefore instructed to dispatch an aerial reconnaissance team to the city to retrieve such data in co-operation with local agents.

The Aerial Reconnaissance Team led by INS Chief of Propaganda (Archiving and Epistemological Critique) Anthony Auerbach will conduct field surveys examining in detail the re-inscription of natural and social history on sites of erasure, especially monumentalised or memorialised sites in the city of Berlin. The project will provide the INS First Committee with data for its ongoing investigations of encryption, inscription and erasure.

Aerial Reconnaissance operations will comprise two components:

  • Mapping, assessment and selection of target sites. The Aerial Reconnaissance Team will seek information from the following sources: maps, prior photographic reconnaissance (PR), published histories, hearsay. Such information will be collected and displayed at Sparwasser HQ.
  • Low-altitude photographic reconnaissance. The selected sites will be the subjects of reconnaissance sorties carried out using vertical photography techniques and apparatus modified from those devised by Anthony Auerbach for the pieces ‘Planet’ and ‘Enemy Contact Surface’ (2002). Photographic materials will be assembled and subjected to preliminary interpretation at Sparwasser HQ.

Sparwasser will therefore become for three weeks the operational HQ of the INS Inspectorate Berlin. The Inspectorate’s work will be accessible to the public during hours determined in consultation with Sparwasser agents. Sparwasser HQ may be closed to the public during fieldwork sorties.

At the end of this period, INS General Secretary Tom McCarthy will visit Berlin to inspect the Inspectorate and hold a public consultation. INS Agent Nick Grindell will act as Official Interpreter.