Video playlists from the most interesting people in the creative industries. We are the Desert Island Discs of internet video.

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Jay Cover

Illustrator, artist and educator Jay Cover was born and raised on the Isle of Man and studied Visual Communication at Leeds College of Art. He now lives and works in Hastings.

Alongside his art practice, Jay teaches BA illustration at Camberwell College of Arts and is one third of artist collective Nous Vous, who have been collaborating on large scale visual art projects for over ten years. His children’s book ‘Walls;’ was released in August 2018, published by Princeton Architectural Press. He has also recently designed a set of six stamps about Manx Folk Traditions, for the Isle Of Man Post Office, released Oct 2018. Jay has exhibited solo and as a part of Nous Vous around the world.

Google of the 60’s: The Whole Earth catalogue revisited (more importantly Lloyd & Lesley) 17 Minutes

This video is such a good antidote to the ill feeling I have toward modern life sometimes; the way we work, the way we interact with our surroundings, the way we passively consume, the way we waste so much. In addition, I’ve always found work and labour is it’s own reward, it can be so fulfilling. Not the day-to-day work of earning your crust, but the work of making your own cushions, or making your own bread or fixing something in your house or fixing something in a friend’s house: making something that brings you or others pleasure and comfort.

This video gives me shivers every time I watch it, I find it extremely inspiring and it reminds me that doing as much for yourself as you can can be really fun and rewarding. It’s also a nice combination of new age spiritualism, humanism and pragmatism.

Alexander Calder: Circus 26 Minutes

Play is extremely important to me, as a method of discovery as well as a way of meditating or arousing something lying dormant in me. I think a lot of adults don’t play enough, or feel embarrassed about it.

Play can take many forms but I generally define it as; an activity immersive enough to extract you from your thoughts, which ignites new ideas and ways of looking at things. It doesn’t necessarily have to lead anywhere as it serves the function of simply removing you from day-to-day mundanity, but it can also direct you elsewhere.

I like to think of all the hours Calder has spent making and thinking about these objects – how they work, all the mechanics and the practical concerns he overcame – whether it was the materials making decisions about what they might be or him manipulating the materials to be what he wanted them to be. Then how they fit into a show and how he could complement the objects and their movements with words and performance. This is a good all-rounder for me, clearly a piece of play that has developed into something that he could share and entertain others with.

Charles & Ray Eames 9 Minutes

The first time I saw this video I was mesmerised and awestruck. It’s truly sublime in a way that no other film is, in my experience (other than ‘Koyaanisqatsi’). Since I became aware of art & design, Ray & Charles Eames have always been there with me.

Almost everything they made was so well conceived and delivered it’s completely timeless. You could translate any of their ideas into a modern medium and it would stand up. Truly thoughtful design made for humans.

A lot of the videos I’m pointing to here are fairly dated, from a period of time where I feel that design for humankind was the most crucial factor, to make lives better – as well as our inquisition into what makes a human, through more playful, conceptual practice. I often feel we live in an era that still hasn’t worked itself out, still hasn’t figured out how what we do and make can serve people without being co-opted and corrupted by rampant money-making. There’s more to life surely?! Sure money brings some comfort but it doesn’t take much. Don’t get me wrong I’m not a massive anti-capitalist; capitalism is a system I could see working if everyone was nice and cared about other people, unfortunately I don’t believe that’s the case.

We’ve reached a point where there are so many completely useless things and ways of engaging with things, that care little for the way they service a community, that it saddens me deeply. Luckily, what we can do in our technological age is easily dip into and access information like this, which gives me hope for a better-designed future, if we can work it out and be kind.

Pete Seeger - Rainbow Quest: Episode 1 53 Minutes

After Pete’s finished twanging out his opening song on the banjo with his warm vocal melodies he says “You know, I’m like a blind man looking out through this little magic screen and I don’t know if you see me. I know I can’t see you, but all the same, tonight and in the weeks to come, I’d like to invite you to come with me on a Rainbow Quest. To try and seek out all the different colours and kinds of human beings we have in our land”.

I occasionally have this on in the background whilst working, as a way of not having to decide which music to listen to, but with the confidence that I’m going to enjoy every minute of it. Where one video stops and another begins, I get to sing the theme tune again, never tiring of it.

I can’t imagine anything like this ever being on television again. Where nice people, who care about other people, talk about caring about people and the planet and share music and personal experiences. I find Pete’s voice very comforting, soothing, reassuring and warm.

The guest list is a kind of dream line-up of my favourite folk musicians. I don’t have a favourite video particularly, as I tend to have it on in the background and don’t pay too much attention to who’s who and what’s being said, it’s just a nice way for my ears to drink in nice vibes and pick up the odd snippet amongst my own thoughts. There’re loads online and they can be a good time filler for those who don’t always appreciate having to make decisions about what media to consume next.

Sister Corita Kent: Ten rules 7 Minutes

I’m slightly sad I can only share a clip of this online, but wouldn’t replace it with anything else. There was a time when the whole thing was available online, when I discovered it.

Sister Corita Kent was a massive surprise to me – a nun who makes some of the most radical, thought provoking typographic work I’ve ever seen. She felt like a bit of a paradox at the beginning, almost magical. She helped destroy any preconceptions I had of people with a religious faith.

This video is my teaching bible, she really led the way in terms of how to teach. It’s something I try to show my students at Camberwell College of Arts every year, not only because it’s hugely thought provoking, but also because it’s just wonderful to look at – so full of colour and great pictures. She taught me through the full version of the film not only how to teach also how to look, how to frame your practice – it gave me the idea that I didn’t have to be an artist, which I always found a burden. It enlightened me toward the idea of just making pictures as well as I could in the way I know how, without the stigma of thinking that I needed to be an artist. Now I can gleefully say I just like making pictures for people, I don’t care if they’re art or not.

Bob Mortimer & Matt Lucas 1 Minute

Nothing like a bit of levity. I love this improvised routine by Bob Mortimer and Matt Lucas. It’s generally perceived as bad form when comedians laugh at their own jokes, but you can really tell these guys are having a good time here and it makes me laugh even more when they start chuckling. There’s a kind of awareness of how silly they’re allowing themselves to be, which loops back to my point about being playful.

These guys just acting out, and having fun doing it, never fails to get a warm chuckle out of me. One of them you put on when you feel like treating yourself to a giggle.

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