Machines in Flames

Machines in Flames (2022, 50min) was first distributed through a network of self-erasing USB data sticks dropped outside corporate campuses. This prompted warning emails from tech firms who feared the release of its secret history of computational self-destruction. They sought to contain its cinematic search for an elusive group - CLODO - that bombed computer companies in 1980s Toulouse, France.

Journeying through the cybernetic nodes of military, industrial, and socialist development, Machines in Flames exposes how recording devices fail to collect the ashes of history. It is unclear what made corporate security firms most anxious: the film’s fiery archival traces, its viral desktop choreography, the paranoid footage of nocturnal stakeouts, or its philosophical investigation of self-combustion?

Machines in Flames is the debut film of the Destructionist International, and the first in a series on the appetite for abolition in ultra-leftism.




Written and Directed by Andrew Culp & Thomas Dekeyser

Voiceover and Music Composition by Dana Papachristou, NMA Studios

Audio Mastering by FasmaTwist

Subtitles and Translation by Jackie Hensy, Guy E., Claude O.

Sources (In Order of Appearance)
“Fox Fire Film Little Ferry NJ 1937,” Digital/upload by F. Fuchs Filmed by W. Zabransky
“The Battle of Britain,” Battlefield, Season 1, Episode 2, date unknown
“Kammhuber Line,” Most Secret War, R. V. Jones – Coronet, 1981
“Royal Air Force Radar,” Air Ministry Second World War Official Collection, Imperial War Museum, date unknown
“Targets” / “Diagram 7” / “Track Chart,” Eighth Air Force, Tactical development, August 1942 – May 1945, Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
“Regensburg- Schweinfurt Raids 1943,” War History Files
ABC Evening News, January 25, 1968
“Bombing Extended in Vietnam: McNamara Reports,” News of the Day, March 7, 1966, British Pathé collection
“Le CLODO parle…,”Terminal 19/84, revue du Centre d'information et d'initiative sur l'informatisation, n° 16, October 1983
“CLODO speaks,” translated by Maxine Holz, Processed World, August 1984
“Nitrate Film Fire,” British Movietone/Associated Press, October 5, 1973
“Attentat commis par le ‘CLODO’,” Gilles Bouquillon/Gamma-Rapho, Getty Images, 1980
“Comité pour la liquidation ou la destruction des ordinateurs,” Wikipedia France
“Philips Computer P 330,” Philips Data Systems (iF Design Award 1979).
“Hans-Dietrich Genscher auf dem Frankfurter Flughafen das EDV-System zur Personenfahndung,” Manfred Rehm/picture alliance, 1972
“IBM 370 computer system,” NASA Glenn Research Center, 1981
“ICL 2903 computer,” ICL Computer Museum, 1983
“Masterconsole Honeywell Bull,” Vienna Technical Museum, date unknown
“Photos: Computer fashions (it was acceptable in the 80s),” Computer Weekly, 2009
“Objectif: paralyser l’économie du pays,” Le Meilleurs, April 10, 1980
“Terroristes: Les saboteurs ont remplacé les tueurs,” Le Meilleurs, April 1980
Antenne 2, April 8, 1980, INA Archives
“Actions Directes?,” La Depêche, April 3, 1980
“Rue des Italiens, à Paris. Le 13 avril 1985, une bombe dévaste la banque Leumi,” Pierre Verdy (AFP), Le Figaro, 2016
“Jean-Marc Rouillan, ancien membre d’Action directe et nouveau gourou de la radicalité,” Le Monde, 2019
“Armes saisies par la police au groupe de terroristes d'Action Directe,” Jean-Louis Urli, Getty Images, 1980
“Le CLODO fête le SICOB,” Libération, September 8, 1980
“Nouveau sabotage d’ordinateurs à Toulouse,” Le Matin, April 10, 1980
“Les ordinateurs en garde à vue,” La Depêche, April 11, 1980
“Toulouse: patrouilles renforcées autour des centres informatiques,” Le Matin, April 11, 1980
“Attentats contre l’informatique et l’Université,” La Depêche, May 21, 1980
“Haro Sur l’Ordinatuer,” La Depêche, May 21, 1980
Google Earth Pro, December 2021
Adobe Premiere Pro, December 2021
“Datacentre operators warned off prioritising on-site security over cyber threat protection,” Computer Weekly, June 17, 2015
“Modular fire protection system ‘System 42’,” PRIORIT
“Fire Protection in a Data Centre,” BBC Fire and Security, October 19, 2012
“Incendie OVH Strasbourg : 3,5 millions de sites web impactés,” StrasTV, March 11, 2021

Special Thanks to Centre de Recherches sur l’Alternative Sociale. Juan-Manuel Palomo, Chloé Galibert-Laîné, Adrian Drummond-Cole and Eden Consenstein, Alex Galloway, Zach Blas

With support from a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship

2022, Destructionist International