Maine Intellectual Commons

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digital_fast_trackBuffing your digital credentials just got easier with UMaine’s impending approval of a fast track for its all-online Digital Curation certificate. The program will still deliver professional training in the complete workflow of collecting digital materials, from acquisition and representation to access and preservation. The new, streamlined curriculum option, however, enables students to complete the certificate in as short a time as nine months.

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Legohacker circle of fireWhile the maker movement continues to gather publicity, one of its most critical dynamics seldom makes the headlines: the right to unmake. Now the College Art Association has published a call for presentations on unmaking and “Lego-like” creativity for its next annual conference in Los Angeles in February 2018.

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net_neutrality_megaphonesIn the past year, the Internet has become a place where strong opinions clash. Yet there’s one priority that should matter to both sides: the health of the platform on which these debates take place.

The free and open Internet is under attack again by opponents of net neutrality. Whether your political tastes are right, left, or center, net neutrality is the closest thing to a guarantee your voice won’t be drowned out by someone else’s agenda.

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Ippolito at Future Proof symposium, 2017Reinterpretation as a preservation strategy has been called “radical” and “dangerous,” yet this unconventional approach has seen a surge of interest in preservation communities in the past year. In a departure from conventional wisdom about conservation, a group of European preservation experts recently invited Still Water’s Jon Ippolito to reassess this controversial technique as a mainstream model for conserving cultural heritage.
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future_proof_lima_logoInterpreting the past has long been the province of historians, but reinterpreting it has recently become a concern of conservators. This most powerful, and most controversial, of preservation strategies can demand techniques not found in the traditional conservation lab, from 3d scanning to DNA computing. Several international conferences from Mexico City to Amsterdam recently spotlighted Still Water’s ongoing research into reinterpretation as a means of prolonging or resuscitating the past.

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facebook_written_logoDigital curators often fret about how to keep their data accessible for the long term, but users of Facebook accounts sometimes have the opposite problem. In one of several instances of New Media alumni in the press recently, Digital Curation professor John Bell tells you how to cut the cord without leaving your data hanging.
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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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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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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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