Video picks of 2014

There were so many amazing videos released this year, it’s nearly impossible to narrow my favorites down to a manageable list. This is by no means a “best of” but rather a semi-random list of videos that had a particularly memorable impact on me the past year. Enough talking, let’s get started watching!

a good introduction, touching on the current Zeitgeist of apocalypse and transcendence


stunning images and inspiring words by Carl Sagan about humanity’s drive to explore new worlds (if you like this, check out my a music mix I made, partially inspired by this video)

 

a beautiful abstraction of the magic of listening to music

 

a visually rich music video made by organic particle effects master Andy Thomas

 

Julius Horsthuis, a professional VFX artist in Holland, produced a beautiful series of abstract fractal animations over the past year.

 

a cleverly-edited ode to Tokyo at night

 

Genius Youtube mashup artist Kutiman burst back on the scene with another amazing collection of songs built entirely out of clips of unrelated Youtube videos.

 

BANKS embodies a musical style which has emerged recently but thankfully doesn’t really have a proper name yet – a kind of chillwave/retro/gothic/electro/R&B/triphop blend, cool, stylish and sexy.

 

Even though I’m a digital artist in my day job, I’m a big fan of practical effects (that is, visual effects produced in front of the camera with little or no digital manipulation) and this video for Scottish post-rock group Mogwai is a great example.

 

incredibly beautiful underwater macro photography. I still have a hard time believing it’s all real and not computer-generated

 

a fairly simple video manipulation idea beautifully executed, producing a really unique look

 

another good example of how a well-executed simple idea can produce some beautiful visuals

 

really impactful short music video with a seamless blend of digital and practical effects

 

more stunningly beautiful and detailed particle effects

 

After several somewhat “serious” entries, readers may be surprised that I am also a fan of surreal J-pop fashionista Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, star of the (in)famous Candyland-colored explosion of Jpop weirdness “PONPONPON” In the more mature “Kira Kira Killer” she explores not only Siberian shamanic fashion, but some surprisingly deep shamanic visual symbolism.

 

possibly the greatest thing The Onion has ever done- short, unexpected, and surprisingly profound

 

Just pure insanity

 

it’s a silly joke but I still laugh every time. Also insanely catchy

 

Rap News put out some amazing episodes in 2014, providing smart and funny satirical commentary on a variety of political and social topics, but this is probably some of their best work yet

 

another genius Australian counter-culture rap group with more ranting, conspiracy theories, ironic hipsterism and other nuttiness

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