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Part art project, part utopian experiment, a street artist by the name of Swoon, as well as a band of artists, DIYers, and other free-spirits, has built a collection of ramshackle yet visually striking rafts to float down rivers and canals with a loosely defined purpose. Tod Seelie, a friend of Swoon’s, has been on all the trips so far as a crew member and brought his camera to document the creativity and chaos.

“I can only really speak for me,” Seelie says, “And really it’s a combination of things, but I’d say the main point [of the trips] is inspiration. It’s the inspiration we feel and the inspiration other people feel when they come across us.”

The group have organized three different trips so far. The first two were down the Mississippi. The plan was to take the rafts from Minneapolis to New Orleans, but the farthest the group ever made it was St. Louis because the river proved to be too strong. The third trip went down the Hudson from Troy, New York to Queens. The fourth trip went from Slovenia to Venice and was meant to coincide with the Venice Biennale. All these trips took place several years ago, but there is a new one in Oregon planned for mid-August.

The rafts are the brain child of Swoon (her real name is Caledonia “Callie” Curry), who is probably most famous for her life-size wheatpastes. Most of the rafts are made from recycled materials and are essentially artfully made-up pontoon boats (their pontoons are wood with styrofoam inside instead of metal). The motors are old car engines that have been hacked to run propellers. Each trip featured a different number of boats, but sometimes there were up to five or six different vessels.

On some of the trips, the boats were designed to not only move through water and house a crew but also host live theater and music performances. On the Mississippi trip, whenever the boats would dock near a town, the crew would invite locals to the boat and teach them trades like silk screening or costume making.

“Many of us had hitchhiked before, or toured with bands. But we were all swept up by being on the boat, It was by far the most amazing thing I’d done,” says Seelie.

Seelie says the flotillas are different from other cross-country adventures because it’s not just about making it down or across some specified route. It’s also about meeting people along the way.

“We are moving as this giant group and intentionally trying to engage people,” he says. “We constantly heard people say, ‘I really wish I had done something like this when I was younger.’”

Along with photos that document the boats and the adventure, Seelie also made portraits of crew members in order to put a face on these crazy adventures.

Seelie’s first book, which is about New York City, where he lives, will be released in October, and a couple of the photos from the Hudson trip are included. For years he’s shot punk bands, artists and other people living their own lives around that city, and he sees the raft crew as directly related to these other alternative, or counter-cultured, communities.

“I think a lot of the people who I photographed for the book are trying to make the city the city they want to live in,” he says. When it comes to the flotillas, that idea “is taken to an even bigger level. There it’s about making the world that they want to live in.”

To see more of Seelie’s work, please check out his blog.

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Ben Garvin explains the making of this wonderful video:

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Longtime Boing Boing friend Richard Metzger of Dangerous Minds turned me on to Jonathan Wilson a couple years ago, and I became an instant fan. He slipped me a copy of Wilson's new album, "Fanfare," before its release date--I am obsessed with it.

I agree with Metzger: best rock and roll album of the year. "No competition, nothing else even comes close," he rightly writes. Everyone else, put down your guitars and mothball your drums, it's over.

Metzger can write about music better than anyone I know, so I'm just going to share a little of his Dangerous Minds review here:

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George Bell grew up in a Wall Street family, made adventure documentaries after school, and then went on to become an entrepreneur. He was CEO of Excite when it went public and recently sold Jumptap to Millennial Media.

In the video below, he explains four basic (but difficult) truths he learned through the experience to finance career site, OneWire.

Here's the breakdown:

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Media Molecule's Vita adventure Tearaway is set in an audio world that blends folksy charm with a more edgy beat.

In a new trailer released today, the game's head of audio Kenny Young talks about how his team approached the soundtrack and sound effects. Tearaway is set in a world made of paper and "of stories," according to Young. Its music is inspired by English folk songs and sea shanties, but also incorporates more modern styles.

"We don't want our games to feel like an experience that people have had before," said Young. "Normally when you are working on a handheld title you need to compromise the audio to get it to fit on this small device, but the Vita is such an awesome piece of kit that we didn't really have those restrictions."

The game, from the makers of LittleBigPlanet, is released on Nov. 22, with an all-original soundtrack, which is available via pre-order.

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While emphasizing the multiple correspondences between collectives and groups like Arte Povera, Archizoom, Superstudio, and figures such as Ettore Sottsass and Alessandro Mendini, The Italian Avant-Garde: 1968-1976 also highlights previously overlooked spaces, works, and performances generated by Zoo, Gruppo 9999, and Cavart. Newly commissioned interviews and essays by historians and curators shed light on the era, while contemporary practitioners discuss its complex legacy continue

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Josh Sanburn

Swedish photographer Lars Tunbjörk has documented frenzied consumerism, the soul-deadening effects of office life and the strange theatrics of U.S. politics, always displaying a sense of humor and a grasp of the absurd that would not be out of place in a George Saunders short story. For our feature on the increasing popularity of cremation around the country, TIME sent Tunbjörk deep into the American heartland to chronicle the goings-on at three separate crematories.

For decades, burial has been by far the most common form of disposition in the United States. Most Americans never gave it a second thought: their grandparents were buried; their great-grandparents were buried—it just made sense that they’d get buried, too, in the family plot, beside their closest relatives.

(Click here to read TIME’s special report on cremation and find out why our changing attitude toward this final rite of passage says everything about the way we live now.)

But today we’re a far different society than we were just a few decades ago. Within the next few years it’s projected that, for the first time, more Americans will get cremated than buried.

Much of the recent rise of cremation’s popularity can be credited to the Great Recession. Cremations can cost as little as a quarter as much as traditional burials. But it’s not just the price tag that makes cremation a popular alternative.

For one, we’re a much more mobile society today. We don’t buy family plots the way we used to because more of us get an education, start a family, get a job and retire far from our birthplaces. When it comes time to find a final resting place, transporting an urn is much easier than dealing with a casket.

Historically, the U.S. has been a majority Christian nation, and Christianity favors burial for a number of reasons. But Americans are becoming increasingly secular and many of us now identify as atheist, agnostic or, even if we consider ourselves religious, aren’t affiliated with a particular faith. That separation from a religion with ties to traditional burial has led to more Americans exploring other options of disposition.

Cremation has also appealed to those looking for a more eco-friendly solution than burial, which involves placing a body filled with embalming fluids on a plot of land that will need to be maintained in perpetuity. And while flame-based cremation is a more environmentally sensitive solution than traditional burial, a new breed of eco-friendly cremations is just starting to become popular. “Green cremations,” which use a mixture of water and potassium hydroxide, are available in a handful of states and are outpacing flame-based cremations in the areas where they’re offered.

The practice of cremation will in all likelihood only grow as we become more mobile, secular and eco-conscious as a society. In fact, in the not too distant future, burial might well be seen as a peculiar option in light of the eminently reasonable, less expensive and environmentally sound method now so widely available—and increasingly embraced.

Click here to read TIME’s special report on cremation and find out why our changing attitude toward this final rite of passage says everything about the way we live now.

Lars Tunbjörk is a photographer based in Stockholm. He previously photographed the 2012 Iowa Caucuses for TIME

Josh Sanburn is a writer/reporter for TIME in New York. Follow him on Twitter @joshsanburn.

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To celebrate the 140th anniversary of the iconic 501 jean, Levi's have created a video which documents its storey as a "beloved icon of culture and style around the world." The two-and-a-half minute short film uses original black-and-white photographs to highlight the major evolutions in the 501's design since its inception in 1873, as well as showing its influence on culture throughout the decades. "From old to young and punk to prep, the 501® is one of the most democratic fashion items ever created, defined by the people who wear it." Check out the video above.

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