Machines in Flames – A Secret History of Self Destruction
Machines in Flames – A Secret History of Self Destruction

Andrew Culp, Thomas Dekeyser Music, Dana Papachristou
film, 2022, 50:00

Machines in Flames finds a secret history of destruction by following the footsteps of a clandestine group of French computer workers from the 1980s

In 1980s Toulouse, an elusive group began bombing computer companies. CLODO disappeared after three years, without ever being caught or ever to be heard of again.

Two filmmakers launch an investigation into CLODO, looking for answers, motivations and identities, but are soon frustrated by a collective that struck in the dead of night, leaving in their tracks only ashes and the sporadic line of cryptic graffiti.

The film combines archival traces, a viral desktop choreography, and late-night video recordings of CLODO’s targets into a meditation on computation, destruction, and the lure of archives.

Writing and production: Andrew Culp and Thomas Dekeyser
Music and VO: Dana Papachristou

Thomas Dekeyser is a cultural geographer and filmmaker at the Centre for the GeoHumanities at Royal Holloway, University of London. He specialises in experimental films that dig into the complex politics of digital technologies, refusal, and militant histories.
Andrew Culp is a media theorist and maker at the California Institute of the Arts. His writing has been published in a dozen languages, including the books Dark Deleuze and A Guerrilla Guide to Refusal.
Dana Papachristou provided Machines in Flames with its unique moody sound composition and voice-over. She is a sound artist, multi-instrumentalist and musicologist, who (co-)founded Aesthate Research Centre and akoo-o, a collective active in walking, geo-location, sound, anthropology and media studies.