Shredder van on fire

A truck carrying shredded paper caught fire at the side of a road next to Clapham Common, London

This morning, a truck carrying shredded paper caught fire at the side of a road next to Clapham Common, London. A fire engine was called to deal with the incident. As the contents smouldered, fireman doused the paper in water on the side of the road. The company that owns the van specialises in shredding documents for companies and destroying the papers differently according to the degree of security required.




More on this blog about Shredders >>

Our daily bread: a factory film

A film maker’s record of mechanised food production at an industrial scale

This is a beautifully shot feature length ‘factory film’.  It is a quiet, controlled observation of mechanised food production at an industrial scale. The fruit and vegetables loose a bit of their romance when you see them grown in artificial environments and at a vast scale. The fish and meat production is hard to watch. Aside from the livestock, it’s notable how unpleasant it is for the humans working on the production line.

Our daily bread – Geyrhalterfilm >>.

Snowlike plastic covers
Crop spraying
These men are mining rock salt in huge caverns deep underground. UNSER TÄGLICH BROT
Hatching area. The shot reminds me of  a Stanley Kubric’s shot: space age scene with one point perspective.


This is one of a set of prints I am working based on the shredded paper.

Shredders have become part of the household and they reflect our concerns about identity theft and fraudsters rummaging though our rubbish bags.

The inspiration for one of the first shredders came from a pasta maker. The remnants left by the shredders come in several different shapes. Each shape represents a different level of security. In other words, some are more easily reassembled than others.

Strip- cut, cross or confetti-cut or diamond-cut particle-cut, disintegrators, hammermills, pierce and tear and grinders are the options.

At the time of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the staff of the US embassy shredded sensitive documents (strip cut) just before the building was taken over. The new Iranian government employed carpet weavers to reassemble together the ‘noodles’  that were left behind.

When Enron employees shredded incriminating documents, some of them made a mistake.  They fed the documents into the shredders the wrong way so the strips followed the lines of text and the pages were much easier to reconstruct.


The thresher or thrasher machine uses its drums and shakers to separate grains from the stalks and the husks. In other words, it separates the wheat from the chaff.

Threshing was done by hand for thousands of years before the machine was invented. The wheat sheaves were laid on the ground and  beaten with flails. The remnants were then thrown into the air from baskets to separate the loosened chaff from the grain. This was slow, hard work. It kept a great number of people in work.

So when the threshing machine was invented and came into use in the 18th century, it was seen as a threat to the livelihoods of the agricultural workers. In Kent and Sussex, and later as far as the Midlands, farm workers set out the destroy the machines. These riots were called the Swing Riots and part of the anti-machinery Luddite movement.

The first threshers were set in the barn. But when a horse or engine could be used to power the machine, it meant that the thresher could be taken into the fields.

There is a film listed on the BFI website of a threshing machine>>
Jean Francois Millet: The Winnower


Thresher from Luce on Vimeo.