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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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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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By Jon Ippolito

PrintAmong the joys that came with winning the inaugural Thoma Foundation Prize for arts writing last April was discovering the work of my co-winner, Joanne McNeil. Once I got over the shock of being recognized as an Established Writer–“establishment” being a point of view I’m rarely associated with–I took the occasion to read what I could find by the Emerging Writer who shared my award. I like what I found.
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ZAK virtual reality labThe German town of Karlsruhe is no stranger to advanced technology, as home to the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the ZKM Center for Art and Technology Karlsruhe. In his keynote for the November 2014 Digital Archiving conference at the ZAK Center for Digital Tradition (CODIGT), Still Water Co-Director Jon Ippolito presented advanced technologies as both the means for and object of novel preservation techniques. Emerging in Europe and the Americas, these new strategies harness everything from emulation to crowdsourcing to virtual reality.

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Jon Ippolito in Mexico City, 2014Professionals across the spectrum of cultural heritage institutions are struggling to keep up with an increasingly digital landscape, as confirmed by the 30-odd contributions to Mexico’s first Symposium on Audiovisual and Digital Archiving (SIPAD). Today’s curators and conservators have their hands full coping with constantly changing video formats and Web standards, not to mention convincing legislators and administrators to support the enormous effort and time required to bring collections into the 21st century.

On the eve of Mexico’s famous Day of the Dead, a handful of presenters at this event organized by at the National Institute of Anthropology and History suggested that a solution for exhausted professionals may come from unexpected sources. In his concluding keynote for the week-long conference, Still Water co-director Jon Ippolito urged professionals to learn from the surprising successes of amateurs in rescuing artifacts that would otherwise have been lost to obsolescence.

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13belfast Coho Healing Seeds  78 illMany of us have important relationships with animals, be they the beloved family dog or the meddlesome raccoon that keeps getting into the garbage.

But what about plants? Their relationships to humans may be much less visible in popular media, if it’s conscious at all. Yet some people’s connections to a particular medicinal herb, houseplant, or tree have “deep roots.”

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Dig 500 Wordle WarmAfter only a year online, the University of Maine’s graduate certificate in Digital Curation is being called “a national standard for the study of digital curation.”

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13washington Library of Congress Teuben smaIs DOOM doomed? Should we say our last words for Word? Will Mozilla be a dinosaur?

These questions echoed through the Montpelier room of the Library of Congress earlier this week during Preserving.exe, a conference from 20-21 May on the challenges of keeping software alive for the long term. The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) invited Still Water’s John Bell and Jon Ippolito to represent the University of Maine’s Digital Curation program in this gathering, which also included conservators, scholars, librarians, astrophysicists, and industry reps from Microsoft to Mozilla.

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Colby Museum RenderingWhen it reopens on July 13 after a major renovation, the Colby College Museum will become the largest art museum in Maine. Front and center for the opening will be the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion, a monumental space that calls out for innovative programming.

Colby’s Sharon Corwin and Patricia King invited Still Water to brainstorm with their staff about how to make the white cube a destination for today’s media-savvy creators.

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