Every year, the intrepid curators of TED, the popular ideas conference, scour the internet for short videos to be aired in between talks. Used to frame a topic, set the energy, or just to lighten the mood, the interstitial videos are often as worth sharing as the ideas on stage.
The videos, which range from short films to commercial spots, are selected on the basis of their quality and message. Among the most delightful videos aired at this year’s annual conference in Vancouver was one created by Barcelona-based motion graphics designer Bernat Casasnovas Torres. He tells Quartz that he was thrilled by the exposure. “They got in touch with me to let me know a few weeks ago. I can’t believe it, I’m super happy!”
Here are some standout video “palette cleansers” from TED 2019.
A comedic spot commercial by advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy for the phone service Three UK argues why mobile phones are actually good for society.
Benches will save the world
“We need more reminders to sit, to relax, and enjoy the show. Benches, binge watch the world!”
Daniel Koran’s light-hearted campaign for more public seating is as persuasive as it is hilarious. “I’m telling you, sitting on a bench makes Hollywood look bad,” he said. The Brooklyn-based comedian’s ode to benches is part of his Thought Diary series, which includes meditations about cacti, competitive tooth brushing, and buying shampoo.
Originally created for the excellent crowd-sourced online typography festival 36 Days of Type, Casasnovas Torres’s Furry Alphabet shows the 26 shaggy letters dancing on screen. “The inspiration came from Monsters Inc,” he explains to Quartz. “I always felt curious about ‘hair simulations in the digital world.’ Also, in general, I love doing funny and slightly freaky animations in my free time as a way to break out from everyday routine at work.”
Aired to reset the room’s energy after an interview with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, How to Be A Mermaid by Barcelona-based director Nur Casadevall is a stylish homage to the mythic creatures she was obsessed with as a child. “I dreamt of being one. But when I was old enough to read the myths—The Odyssey, for example—I realized that they weren’t these perfect idyllic beings, but real manipulators!” Casadevall writes. “This video is a homage to what mermaids meant to me, before growing up. I don’t think I’m the only girl who feels this way.”
A star-studded cast including Yo-Yo Ma, Elizabeth Banks, Jason Mraz, Paula Abdul, and Misty Copeland appear in this joyful video for Turnaround Arts, a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts program that aims to infuse more art education in underfunded schools across the US.