"Radical Politics// Destruction Aesthetics// Experimental Inquiry"
In this provocative talk, Culp will discuss the fusion of destruction aesthetics and radical politics as a model for experimental scholarship. Inspired by the historic avant-garde, he combines critical and creative inquiry to explore undisciplined scholarship.
Film Screening of Machines in Flames to follow at 8pm, also in The Bishop back room!
Machines in Flames (2022, 50min) is a cinematic search for ‘CLODO’, an elusive group that started bombing computer firms in 1980 Toulouse only to disappear 3 years later without ever being caught. Journeying through the cybernetic nodes of military, industrial, and socialist development, the film exposes how recording devices fail to collect the ashes of history. The film combines archival traces, a viral desktop choreography, and late-night video recordings of CLODO’s targets into an investigation of self-destruction. The film is the debut work of the Destructionist International, and the first in a series of films on the appetite for abolition in ultra-leftism. It was first distributed through a network of self-erasing USB data sticks dropped outside corporate campuses.
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. Machines in Flames is his debut documentary film.
The Destructionist International is dedicated to the negative in all of its forms. It is drivenby a shared inclination: a taste for the fury of destruction, away from the dull submissionof situations to reasoned judgement. This passion helps DI maintain a militant indifference toward individuals, organization, and institutionalization of any kind. It owesits existence to radical events, those rare situations in which abolition becomes actual.
The Destructionist International works across a variety of creative mediums (text, image, video, sound) and themes (militancy, sabotage, technology, liberation). Its first work was the film Machines in Flames, in which media scholar Andrew Culp and cultural geographer Thomas Dekeyser retraced the footsteps of CLODO’s historic attacks on computer firms in the 1980s.