Brendan Dawes
The Aesthetics of Form and Code

That Was The Week That Was — 19th January 2020

This week I did something I've been meaning to do for a long time — I went to the cinema on my own, in the day time. For many, the cinema is a social occasion, usually visiting with a friend or two, and that's how it has always been for me. Yet I watch films at home on my own, so why not see a film as it was intended, on the big screen, on my own?

The film in question was 1917. I don't know if it was because of the film material or because of the time of day, but I was the youngest in there by a good twenty years — and I say that as someone in there fifty fourth year. There was a lot of grey hair, mine included. 1917 was incredible, giving the impression of a single take, with its relentlessly advancing camera and mostly real-time action. When it finished there was a kind of solemnity as we left the cinema together, like we seen something truly moving.

Certainly going to be making more trips to the cinema on my own this year.

Afterwards I had to look up how they got the shots they did. Roger Deakins's brilliance together with Sam Mendes's vision was amazing to see.

I had a backlog of issues of The New Yorker to read through, as they had stacked up because of my lack of travel in the last few weeks. Making my way through the issues, I read about the tragic life of Audrey Munson, a woman who was the model in the 1920s for many of the female statues you can still see in Manhattan. Even though she was celebrated for a time, she was committed to a mental institution at the age of thirty one — with what looks like what we would now call depression — and died there at the age of one hundred and four. Reading that, it only cemented my belief of making the most of every day and every opportunity.

I'm always keen to document the work I make, so during the week I wrote up what went into making my Art of Cybersecurity piece for Trend Micro, which went live last year. This is something I've gone through in talks I did last year, but it was good to get it down in writing, sharing sketches and prototypes, not just for others but also for myself.

I heard this week that a new project was confirmed to start at the end of January, which was welcome news.