In 1994 artist Douglas Davis hit upon a surefire way to write a preposterously long sentence. He and his collaborators created a page on what was then a fledgling World Wide Web through which anyone could add words and phrases onto a growing string of HTML. Two decades later, it fell to digital conservator Ben Fino-Radin to restore this landmark of Internet art. He described the process–along with his work to recover the earliest Macintosh icons and manage digital collections at the Museum of Modern Art–in a teleconference this spring with students of the University of Maine’s Digital Curation program.

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brown_ben_forestry_finderNew Media student projects are more than term papers to be chucked when the semester’s over. Many enjoy a renewed life after graduation, as demonstrated by recent TV and news articles on outdoor-oriented ventures from the 2015 capstone course taught by Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais. From drone classes for high school students to mobile apps to help forestry workers, these capstones have expanded outside of the classroom and into the nearby woods and skies overhead.

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International Handbook Museum MediaOnce dusty storehouses of antique patrimony, today museums are forced to re-imagine themselves for an age where culture is shared from smartphone to smartphone. Recent Still Water publications on reinventing museums for the 21st century are cropping up in anthologies like the International Handbook of Museum Studies and in interviews from The Library of Congress.

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Better Words about BitsA Still Water project by Jon Ippolito aimed at linking thematically similar academic essays across the Web has been awarded an initial grant of $10,000 by the Thoma Foundation. Founding philanthropists Carl and Marilynn Thoma also hosted a presentation at New York’s School of Visual Arts last December to honor the inaugural recipients of the Digital Arts Writing prize, independent writer Joanne McNeil and Ippolito, who co-directs UMaine’s Still Water lab.

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national_geographic_logoIn an article on the growing cohousing movement, National Geographic magazine interviewed Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais about her research on these “living laboratories for sustainability.” Blais spoke to the sharing economy at the heart of Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage, an intentional community on the coast of Maine founded by people seeking a greater connection with the environment and each other.

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mep_neh_grant_diagramIn a world where a search box is usually the only way to enter an online archive, John Bell builds wrecking balls that tear down the walls between institutional silos. His latest project, a collaboration with Dartmouth and UMaine’s VEMI lab, has won a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to help scholars access and annotate historical film and television from archives across the globe.

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Craig Dietrich DIG teleconference 2015As visiting luminary for the UMaine Digital Curation graduate program’s fall 2015 teleconference, Craig Dietrich challenged its students to consider how culturally sensitive archives and linked data can break the monoculture of one-size-fits-all paradigms for access and publication.

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Ludwig Museum Budapest

Ludwig Museum Budapest

In 2015 Re-collection: Art, New Media and Social Memory continued to gather attention from libraries, universities, and the press. This just-published MIT Press book by Richard Rinehart and Still Water Co-Director Jon Ippolito surveys new paradigms and techniques for safeguarding culture for future generations in the face of imminent technological obsolescence. Since last summer the tour included presentations in Aachen, Brussels, Budapest, Lewisburg, Oslo, Taiwan, and Toronto, as well as a webinar for the National Information Standards Organization.

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digital_humanities_2015_web_annScholars assess the spatial dimensions of the Holocaust, how to tell stories with real-time games, and how Satan went viral in Salem at the 2015 Digital Humanities Week from 21-25 September.

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Lexicon of Sustainability/Fermentation at Waterfall ArtsIt’s hard to articulate ecological values with a vocabulary inherited from the industrial age. The Lexicon of Sustainability, an exhibition co-curated by Dan Dixon and Still Water’s Joline Blais, aims to change that. Read the rest of this entry »

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