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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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Spaceships, size comparison

A while back we saw a size comparison of random spaceships. That one pales in comparison to this extensive version by Dirk Loechel. It's got ships from Star Wars, Star Trek, EVE, Babylon 5, Starship Troopers, Titan A.E., and oh so much more.

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Author, researcher, and psychedelic pioneer Timothy Leary could have added another title to his name: creator of an amazing, incredibly weird take on William Gibson's Neuromancer showcased by Wired. Since acquiring Leary's archives in mid-2011, the New York Public Library has been uncovering and publishing details about Leary's work, including fragments of Leary's plans for scrapped computer games. In 1985, he helped develop and publish Mind Mirror, a psychoanalytic game that let players build and role-play personalities — Electronic Arts, which put out the title, reportedly sold 65,000 copies in the two years after release. But according to material that the library released to researchers last week, he also had far more ambitious plans.

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C

The Brooklyn / DC label that is brought us Solar Year & Bam Spacey puts together a playlist showing off their depth and a short story about each artist.

1. Young Athletes League “We Only Feed Ourselves”

Every label needs a first release. A 3 track EP from London’s Young Athletes League was ours. We found YAL through a Phil Collins remix he posted via MySpace which lead to discovering his original works. Thinking about it now I feel really old but MySpace is making a come back right? “We Only Feed Ourselves” is the title track as well as the closing track to that release — 7.5 minutes of lo-fi electronic bliss.

2. Solar Year “Lines”

This is one of my favorite Solar Year tracks. Everything just works here from start to finish. This track, and Solar Year in general, give off this underlining feeling of dread that is at the same time strangely pop leaning and warm. It may just be how I perceive it but it’s perfect in my book. It most likely has a lot to do with the contrast between Ben’s productions and David’s incredible high reaching vocals. The Waverly album is now re-mastered and sounding incredible, this is a stand out from the flip side.

3. Albert Swarm “Aging Out”

Actually haven’t listened to the first Albert Swarm EP in a while, it’s been Wake (his second release) 24/7. Was really nice revisiting this track when putting the playlist together. “Aging Out” is probably one of the very first songs I heard from the Albert Swarm project. I think the track really speaks for itself.

4. The Soft “Mori (Elysia Edit)”

This is where the playlist get a little warmer! Really excited about the upcoming EP from The Soft. Produced by Luke Abbott and David Pye who just did some production for Brolin. “Mori” is an immense pop track we released for free at the end of 2012, this remix was done by Henry from the band under his Elysia moniker. Without much snuff Henry took this track straight to the dance floor.

5. Prism House “Need You (Part I)”

The Prism House project is our very first NYC signing and we just released their debut Reflections EP on March 5. Love the variety of samples clicking in and out throughout this track as a desperate sounding bass line tries to find some sort of footing but Prism House aren’t really letting it happen.

6. Bam Spacey “Dessa brander”

Hard to choose one track from Bam Spacey. I really wanted to put up some of the unreleased/upcoming stuff because it’s brilliant but he probably wouldn’t be too pleased with that. “Dessa Brander” was the very last single we did from the Land EP. Imagery wise it sits somewhere towards the end of Blade Runner just before the end credits roll as Deckard is driving further and further away from LA and headed towards the horizon. This track plays right around that time and I’d like to think Deckard is taking his girl out to the beach because she’s probably never seen one before and romance ensues.

7. Glenn Jackson “You Too”

This has to be one of my favorite tracks we’ve put out to date. Glenn has a knack for pacing a track to feel just right and “You Too” is a beautiful example of that. One of the more positive and uplifting tracks we’ve done so far cause you know… feeling good is pretty important. The build is exceptional — you wait and wait for that drop and when it happens you’re cruising, shades on, not looking back.

 Alex Koplin

Showcase show tonight in Brooklyn, Flyer by: Alex Koplin

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With the advent of starting my studio Space Between Studios and using the term "non-fiction games," I need to explain my goals for non-fiction in interactive media.

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Battlestar_Galactica_-_Blood_And_Chrome_Appearence

On 5 November 2012, an Entertainment Weekly exclusive revealed SyFy’s plans for Blood and Chrome, detailing the pilot episode’s division into ten shorter episodes to be aired on Machinima’s YouTube channel, Machinima Prime, beginning Friday, November 9, 2012. The additional seven to twelve minute episodes would be released in the following four weeks, with the complete pilot episode airing on SyFy in January of 2013. On 7 November 2012, Machinima Prime released a clip from Blood and Chrome featuring a short scene from the episode.  An unrated, uncut Blu-ray and DVD version of the pilot episode was announced on 8 November 2012, with a 19 February 2013 release date. As announced, the Blu-ray and DVD will include deleted scenes and a behind-the-scenes documentary, “Blood & Chrome: Visual Effects”. The announcement coincided with the release of another teaser trailer featuring additional footage from Blood and Chrome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT79x4qM4FE

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prometheus lead

Earlier this week, a fan site published an early draft of a script for Prometheus, revealing plot points and alien creatures that never appeared in Ridley Scott's final version. Titled Alien: Engineers, the script was penned by Jon Spaihts before Lost creator Damon Lindelof eventually took over, and includes new plot twists involving alien parasites and even Facehuggers.

On Sunday, Spaihts confirmed via Twitter that the script is indeed "authentic," and later told Wired that he wasn't upset about the leak, describing it as a testament to Ridley Scott fandom. "The interest in the script speaks, more than anything, to their love of the film and the Alien universe," Spaihts explained. "It’s really just an aspect of their fandom for the...

Continue reading…

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Click here to read <em>Star Wars</em> Looks Rad as a 1980s Teen Movie

Yeah, the first Star Wars was released in 1977, but for most, the franchise is a staple of the decade that came after. Something artist Denis Medri plays on with these awesome images, reimagining the heroes and villains of George Lucas' universe as the cast of a 1980s teen movie. More »

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