In 1972 television and audio pioneer Henry Jacobs, among whose works you can file the invention of surround sound (Vortex: Experiments in Sound and Light) and the improvised soundtrack material and background dialogue to George Lucas’ 1971 sci-fi masterwork THX 1138, joined Bob McClay and Chris Koch to create a half-hour series of television programming called The Fine Art of Goofing Off, or the “Sesame Street’s psychedelic, philosophical cousin.”
With few if any creative limits, this unique series celebrated leisure, pointless activity, philosophical weirdness, richly layered imagery and hypnotic, non-matching sources. No doubt he befriended the best minds of his generations, among whom: Allen Ginsberg, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Ken Nordine, Lenny Bruce, Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Each program would develop an open-ended theme, like “time” or “work” in an unpredictable collage of brief episodes in a variety of different styles of animation: stop-action photography, claymation, collage, cut-outs, and continuous drawing.
Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fine art of Goofing Off.
The image above and the video below belong to the Cinefamily 2010 Henry Jacobs retrospective.