Variable Media

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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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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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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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3BA7DCD7-9E9A-404C-A38A-78D1B49A2046__slack_logoYou shouldn’t prepare to be a librarian or curator with outdated tools, any more than you should study to be a doctor with a hacksaw and leaches. That’s why the University of Maine’s Digital Curation graduate program integrates cutting-edge software into its program. It’s also why its faculty chose an innovative tool that’s been called an email killer for their new learning environment–one that to our knowledge has never been used as courseware before.

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make_budget_maxGood news for anyone who needs more skills for managing a collection but doesn’t live near one of the few universities that offer them. The University of Maine has just announced a new discount for distant students in its online Digital Curation program.

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