Friday, February 25, 2011


Necronaut is a term derived from the Greek words nekros (νεκρός), meaning "corpse" or "dead", and nautes (ναύτης), meaning "sailor".

We, the First Committee of the International Necronautical Society, declare the following:-
1.That death is a type of space, which we intend to map, enter, colonise and, eventually, inhabit.

2. That there is no beauty without death, its immanence. We shall sing death's beauty - that is, beauty.

3. That we shall take it upon us, as our task, to bring death out into the world. We will chart all its forms and media: in literature and art, where it is most apparent; also in science and culture, where it lurks submerged but no less potent for the obfuscation. We shall attempt to tap into its frequencies - by radio, the internet and all sites where its processes and avatars are active. In the quotidian, to no smaller a degree, death moves: in traffic accidents both realised and narrowly avoided; in hearses and undertakers' shops, in florists' wreaths, in butchers' fridges and in dustbins of decaying produce. Death moves in our appartments, through our television screens, the wires and plumbing in our walls, our dreams. Our very bodies are no more than vehicles carrying us ineluctably towards death. We are all necronauts, always, already.

4. Our ultimate aim shall be the construction of a craft[1] that will convey us into death in such a way that we may, if not live, then at least persist. With famine, war, disease and asteroid impact threatening to greatly speed up the universal passage towards oblivion, mankind's sole chance of survival lies in its ability, as yet unsynthesised, to die in new, imaginative ways. Let us deliver ourselves over utterly to death, not in desperation but rigorously, creatively, eyes and mouths wide open so that they may be filled from the deep wells of the Unknown.

[1] This term must be understood in the most versatile way possible.It could designate a set of practices, such as the usurpation of identities and personas of dead people, the development of specially adapted genetic or semantic codes based on the meticulous gathering of data pertaining to certain and specific deaths, the rehabilitation of sacrifice as an accepted social ritual, the perfection, patenting and eventual widespreaddistribution of ThanadrineTM, or, indeed, the building of an actual craft - all of the above being projects currently before the First Committee.

INS Founding Manifesto, published 14 December 1999: The Times, London, p. 1.
International Necronautical Society


"... we’re trying to do for death what the Situationists did for sex, that’s one way of looking at it."
Simon Critchley International Necronautical Society
Fowler, Steven "Nihilism, Punk and the International Necronautical Society: an interview with Simon Critchley" 3:AM Magazine, 30 MArch 2009

"Believing that every text is coded, he looks to writers like Freud and Jacques Derrida, who hold the same view, only to find, of course, that their writings are coded too. Every text, it turns out, is at once a nexus of hidden messages and a key to reading other texts. His interest in death is not in the empirical event; in his thinking it generally stands as a cipher for the outer limit of description, for the point at which the code breaks down—a point that is often alive, as McCarthy points out, with secret desires."
Verhagen, Marcus "Deathly Pursuits, profile of INS General Secretary, Tom McCarthy" Art Monthly, no. 277, June 2004

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