Brendan Dawes
The Art of Form and Code

That Was The Week That Was — 24th November 2019

On Thursday I travelled to Glasgow to speak at the inaugural Silicon Swalley — an event organised by Filament PD, who I haven't seen for a few years since they helped me create Popa. Arriving into Glasgow I made my way to Motel One, which very handily was right next door to the station. I've stayed in a few Motel One's over the years and they're a nice balance of design without costing the earth. I wouldn't want to stay at one for too long, but for a couple of nights they're pretty much perfect.

Stupidly I decided to walk to the venue as It was a nice straight fifteen minute walk to where the event was taking place, only I didn't think about how dark it would get, especially under the flyovers were there was very little lighting. As I made my way there with £1500 quids worth of laptop on my back I could feel my pace quicken. Everything was of course fine and I got to the venue without incident. I was sure to be getting a taxi back though.

The event itself went really well, with a packed out crowd listening to myself and Nick Noble, from IBM Watson, telling our stories — me concentrating on the digital physical work I've done, Nick talking about AI, followed by a lively debate. Craig and the team at Filament PD had done a great job for the first event and judging by the feedback it looks like these quarterly events are going to a great success.

The next morning, after enjoying a breakfast at Motel One, I had some time to fill before heading back home. I made my way to GOMA — my first time here — and I have to say I really enjoyed it. They had on a great exhibition called Taste, featuring the work of Warhol, Hockney and others. I particularly liked the quote from Sarah Woods talking about learning how to throw a pot for the first time — "In order to hold a space, you first have to define an edge, a limit." The other one that stood out for me was the work of Hal Fischer, particularly his twenty four hour park bench study on the corner of 18th and Castro in San Francisco. I loved the transitions created by the different people that would use the bench over a full day, and the differences of the characters, whilst the park bench remained the one consistent object.

During the train ride home I started on a new print project I've been meaning to do for a while, but after seeing James White's new fanzine, it kick-started this idea I had been playing around with into action. It revolves around an A6 size zine — all monochrome — with the idea of me starting with a simple circle, drawn with code, and then iterating on that code, outputting the resultant images one-by-one, together with the code changes. The little zine will be made up of those changes and images, to show the idea and hopefully power of play. I'm thinking of calling it Code in my Pocket, but haven't entirely finalised that yet. Think it could be a fun thing to do.

Other than that, spent a little bit of time packaging some prints ready for sending in the coming week. I've now settled on some Glassine C5 bags, together with a yellow PFU label. Glassine bags are nicely acid free and recyclable, plus I kind of like the aesthetic they give, which fits nicely with the PFU brand.