Re-collection

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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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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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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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Re-collectionThe July discussion on the Yasmin email list focuses on MIT Press’s publication last month of Re-Collection: Art, New Media, and Social Memory by Richard Rinehart and Jon Ippolito, which has been called the first academic book on new media preservation. Re-collection examines the challenge posed by new media to our long-term social memory, examining in depth such topics as amateur and professional emulation, crowdsourced preservation, and DNA storage.

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Re-collection: Art, New Media, and Social MemoryRe-Collection: Art, New Media, and Social Memory, the new book by Richard Rinehart and Jon Ippolito published this week by MIT Press, has already received acclaim from some high-profile reviewers.

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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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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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