INS Inspectorate Berlin: Aerial Reconnaissance Phase, 2005

Briefing documents issued by International Necronautical Society (INS) Department of Propaganda, February 2005

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.

INS First Committee holds that: Berlin is the world capital of death, hence also the world capital of erasure. The fabric of the city is nothing other than the erasure of the traces of death. The city is not haunted by the dead (as the doctrine of Necronautical Materialism insists, ghosts don't exist). One of the city's most ruthless methods of erasure is the erection of memorials. A memorial is an attempt to authenticate a forgotten past. A memorial authorises forgetting and encodes erasure: that is, it stands for something (some body) which is not there (because dead). It usurps the place of something absent so the absent thing (body) will not come back. However, the dead don't come back. Now there are tourists.

Advance Reconnaissance, undertaken by INS General Secretary Tom McCarthy with the co-operation of Sparwasser HQ took place 10­22 July 2004


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. 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 Spa

At the end of this period, INS General Secretary Tom McCarthy will visit Berlin to inspect the Inspectorate and hold a public consultation.