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Kickstarter projects can be great because they help us see the world in ways we never would have thought of before. For example, as being composed of 48 cast-iron skillets, melted and manipulated to resemble the United States. Or, as a multi-media installation exploring the different ways that people interact with the utterly surreal natural landscape of an isolated country. Other worldview options include wacky cartoonery, rollerskates and 70s shortshorts, and puppets. Take your pick of whichever you think is best, because all are included in this weeks particularly awesome new project roundup.

Made in America project video thumbnail
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The cast iron skillet is arguably one of the best things to happen in the history of cooked food. It's a staple for most people who spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and usually comes in basic shapes like "square" and "circle." All that is about to change, thanks to Alisa Toninato, an artist whose medium of choice is the iron skillet. She forges iron skillets in the shape of states, and is currently in the process of completing the entire US map made entirely from skillets. That's some serious iron-casting skill! I realize this is an art project, so forgive what I'm about to say: When looking at Alisa's masterpiece, I can't stop myself from imagining the most incredible pile of state-shaped pancakes. — Cindy A.

Outliers, Vol. I: Iceland project video thumbnail
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Taking home the gold for last weekend's X-treme Sweating, only three things spared me from severe heatstroke: 1) questionably-potable fire hydrant ragers 2) "visiting" my mom/placing my bottom atop her A/C 3) chilling out to this project vid. The premiere installment of Outliers is a mixed-media compilation inspired by the sights and sounds of the Icelandic countryside. The "improvised collaboration" offers a travelogue of short films, photographs, soundtrack, and original score. Like the inventive What Happens When restaurant or the immersive Silk Road in Stereo soundscape, I love interdisciplinary and sensory projects on Kickstarter and have no doubt Outliers' "Iceland" will deliver. Featuring L.A.'s Tim Navis and Danish photographer Kim Hølterma on stills, Chicago collective Scenic on films, and composer Deru on sound, $15 gets you a digital download of the project, and for $35 you can own the hold-in-your-clam-hands box set. — Elisabeth H.

Roller Dreams project video thumbnail
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Rollerskating was invented in the mid-18th century but being cool on roller skates (no small feat) was invented in Venice Beach in 1978.  This was a scene and it was responsible for most of the fancy moves most of us saw at our suburban Skate Nights at our local rink. Remember those people? The ones who didn't skate so much as dance — who did not slow down at curves, who did not stop themselves by slamming their entire bodies into a wall, who did not go to the skating rink mostly to eat popsicles and play air hockey? Well that all started in Venice Beach, lasted through the 90s, until "drugs, gangster rap" and a stubborn LAPD took over. Roller Dreams revisits the era with incredible archival footage and interviews with the people who made it what it was. Maybe you'll even pick up a few moves for your next Skate Night. — Meaghan O.

The Media Show Explains Search, SEO, and Sock Puppets project video thumbnail
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Many trial and error's have taught me one thing: I only learn via sock puppets. Which is great, since I really need to know how things work. Especially the media, a vast digital space which *secretly* revolves advertising. But, like that NBC (ad) says, "the more you know"…well, that's all they say, but what I think they mean is, "the more you know, the better you can handle bogus ads and product placement." Awesome! This is the viewer education I've always needed, so I can stop freaking out anytime Dunkin Donuts starts a new campaign. As they say, "the revolution will not be advertised." — Mike M.

The Woodshed at The Jazz Gallery project video thumbnail
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The Jazz Gallery in New York City has been called "The most imaginatively booked jazz club in New York" by the New York Times and has been a mecca for emerging jazz musicians to perform their work for over 20 years. Their latest initiative, The Woodshed at The Jazz Gallery, looks to extend the use of the space by providing musicians with free rehearsal and development space during "dark hours." Backers get some awesome experiential rewards, like an invitation to a private Jazz Gallery party and lessons from various musicians. — Daniella J.

Homeless Cop project video thumbnail
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I like stuff that is weird. Life can be/is normal all the time, so I don't want my cartoons, my comics, my movies, my books, etc, to try and imitate that. I want them to be wacky! I want them to be surreal ! I want things to be exploratory and fantastical and imaginative and way, way out there! And the (self-described) "epic stoner comedy" Homeless Cop looks like it's on a mission to be all of that. Or, you know, just a good freakin' time. Whatever, it's all good, maaaan. — Cassie M.

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