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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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Re Collection LogoRe-Collection: Art, New Media, and Social Memory will be the first full-length academic book on preserving digital media. Due out this coming year from MIT Press, the publication is a collaboration between Still Water’s Jon Ippolito and Richard Rinehart, director of the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell.

Re-collection argues that the default strategies for safeguarding media in the 20th century are utterly inadequate for preserving culture in the 21st. While the quantity of cultural artifacts has been increasing dramatically, the average lifespan of each artifact is shrinking due to technological obsolescence and cultural amnesia.

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Avicom LogoThe keynote for this year’s International Audiovisual Festival on Museums and Heritage focuses on very new–and very old–technologies for crowdsourcing the curation and preservation of culture. Delivered by Still Water Co-Director Jon Ippolito, the presentation “Re-collection” draws on themes from the forthcoming book of the same name.

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The past few months have seen a spate of news stories that feature Still Water co-directors in TV, print, and online outlets. Here are some of the highlights:

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Digital Curation Logo illSyllabi are now online for the four core courses of the University of Maine’s brand new Digital Curation program. These include online classes in digital acquisition (DIG 500), representation (DIG 510), access (DIG 540), and preservation (DIG 550).

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Digital Curation LogoThe Digital Curation program is a two-year graduate certificate, taught online, intended for professionals working in museums, archives, artist studios, government offices, and anywhere that people need to manage digital files. The program walks students through the phases of managing digitized or born-digital artifacts, including acquisition, representation, access, and preservation. Registration opens soon!

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In the digital art preservation field, we are in the middle of a crisis between contents versus containers. This is a crisis of substance, material substance opposing to conceptual/intentional substance of the artwork. What do we want? That all resources be directed towards to the preservation and storage of the original devices? Or, that each time it is exhibited, the artwork be constantly updated and adapted to new versions of hardware and software ? In other words, should we preserve the material (hardware/software) or the intent?

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11florianopolis Abciber 8 illWhich is the oldest human record?

In his keynote presentation to the National Symposium of Brazilian Cyberculture, Jon Ippolito argues it is lurking in the Amazon rainforest.

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Pocos Blue medRichard Rinehart, co-author with Still Water’s Jon Ippolito of the forthcoming MIT book New Media and Social Memory, presents conclusions from the book at the POCOS/HATII symposium on Software Art in Glasgow on 11 October.

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