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

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The Best of the First Year of CURATE.TV

It’s been one year! We’ve had over 150 videos from 28 inspiring creatives. To celebrate we’re bringing together the most tip-top, spine-tingling, frame-breaking, super-inspiring content and opinion from our fantastically talented friends.

From Aretha Franklin moving the Obamas to tears with her performance of Natural Woman to John Fashanu dropping some sublime “real life Alan Partridge” clangers, via a Bauhaus ballet, Charles and Ray Eames to the Power of Ten, Louise Bourgeois peeling a tangerine and much more besides.

Make yourself a brew, relax and enjoy the thing the internet does best: archiving and sharing the most unexpected and wonderful content. Thanks to everyone who helped out and took part!

Aretha Franklin sings Natural Woman Russell Davies

Just Aretha singing Natural Woman would be enough. But this time she’s singing it in front of Carol King – who wrote it – and the Obamas – who are wiping tears from their eyes. This is just glorious. And it’s even better when you read this New Yorker piece and notice the little details like the handbag and the fur coat.

Russell Davies

Hi Stranger Melissa Deckert

This video by Kristen Lepore is a masterpiece and everything I want to feel now and forever. It warms my heart, is deeply human, makes me incredibly uncomfortable and forces me to keep watching. Whoever did the voiceover deserves an Oscar and the airbrushed flush on the butt was a stroke of genius. All this to say, I love what you can do with a simple concept, some Sculpey and a nice backlight.

Melissa Deckert

Young Thug - Wyclef Jean Official Video Melissa Deckert

This whole music video is a result of what happens when you work with an unpredictable client, nothing works out the way you planned and you have to completely improvise the final product. Shout out to a make it work moment!

Melissa Deckert

Oskar Schlemmer, Triadisches Ballett - Bauhaus Merijn Hos

To be honest I never did a lot of research about the background of this video and artist. Maybe a bit strange. Anyway, this video is from 1970 but the original ballet is from 1922. I’m in love with everything I see here, color, shape movement. Still so modern. Absolutely stunning.

Merijn Hos

Louise Bourgeois peels a tangerine Petra Eriksson

I can’t explain it, it’s just fantastic. I guess that when someone as great as Louise Bourgeois talks for five minutes about peeling a tangerine you just need to see and listen to that.

Petra Eriksson

An Optical Poem - produced by Oskar Fischinger 1938 Guy Moorhouse

I love abstract moving image and op art. To think that Fischinger made this visualisation of Liszt’s 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody in 1938 (1938!), before the advent of computers is frankly staggering.

Guy Moorhouse

Pipilotti Rist - Ever is Overall Nicole Ginelli

I was hugely inspired by Pipilotti Rist in college and this video blew my young mind a lil bit. When the Beyonce “Hold Up” vid came out I was like holy moly Bey references on point! All of her video work is really sharp, gorgeous, and has a very specific humor to it.

Nicole Ginelli

Squarepusher - 'Dark Steering' taken from 'Ufabulum' Alvaro Arregui

One of my most favourite Brit musicians of all time. The combination of unique music and future-proof visuals makes this video timeless.

Alvaro Arregui

HBA GALVANIZE BY WENCH Ella Fitzsimmons

Sure, it has 77k views, but I wish more people knew this Jesse Kanda/Arca/Shayne Oliver collaboration. Made for Hood by Air a couple of years ago, the Fatboy Slim intro had me worried it might be a bit second marriage stag party. It’s not. It’s great.

I tend to think of Jesse Kanda’s films as being all morphing and uncanny images. Organic, if things lived and decayed on Jupiter. Like the work he does for Bjork and Arca. This video has a lot more space to it, and I think it’s mainly reworked found footage. It makes me look at that pigeons and truck clip completely differently. The crashing buildings feel both industrial and aestheticised. The burning bridge somehow free of shonky metaphors. All in time to Shayne Oliver’s and Arca’s remix of everyone from Tatu to Chris Clark.

It could have been SO bad. Imagine this in the hands of people who didn’t have incredible taste? And the craft to make it work? A National Geographic screensaver for the ketamine age. Just wrong. Instead, it’s one of the best uses of the internet I know.

Ella Fitzsimmons

General Levy Notting Hill Carnival Tim Head

I’m from West London and one of the things I’m most proud of is Carnival. Watching this always gets me excited for Carnival. If you’ve never been, then the General issues wise words.

Tim Head

Charles & Ray Eames Jay Cover

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.

Jay Cover

Spring in Harlem Jameela Elfaki

Model Adesewa Alghewi’s directorial debut exploring the beauty of muslim women. It’s a beautiful video of representation and identity! The piece follows the five young women through a market in Harlem, New York while they discuss their backgrounds, how they looked at Islam during their childhood, and its importance in their lives now.

Jameela Elfaki

Meli Melo from Golden Eighties David Jenkins

This is a musical interlude from Chantal Akerman’s 1986 shopping mall musical, Golden Eighties. It’s what happens when an experimental filmmaker goes self-consciously pop, but the song is also a real toe-tapper.

David Jenkins

Dutch Profiles: Irma Boom Sven Lindhorst-Emme

I am a really big fan of Irma Boom, her books and her ideas of being a graphic-designer/book-designer. Her works are so impressive and real and with some projects, she comes close to the edge of what is possible. I think she never uses the direct and simple way, nearly every book is a work of art.

Sven Lindhorst-Emme

Neil Blender in Tempe, 1986 Henry Lockyer

While this seemingly starts off as a sarcastic joke at the expense of some very 80s contest announcers (the raised fist ride away!) it becomes an important lesson. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing, what’s deemed correct or cool. Make it up, be a weirdo, and entertain yourself. I watch this regularly to stave off the sinking feeling social media gives you that you need to win, or even compete in the same game as everyone else.

Henry Lockyer

John Fashanu - Johnny Was Henry Lockyer

I had to include this not because it inspires me, but because it is almost certainly my most watched clip on youtube. People like to play the ‘Real Life Alan Partridge’ card a lot, but I think this may be the best example. The oddness of the pacing and sentence structure, explaining where Hollywood is, clarifying ‘terrestrial’. The final payoff. I don’t even know where to begin. A friend brought round the dvd of Johnny Was years after we discovered this clip, it was not a good watch.

Henry Lockyer

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