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Commons Locked Book IconMaine Public Radio highlights the debate over open access to scholarly publications in conversation with Still Water’s Jon Ippolito and his fellow colleagues from the University of Maine.

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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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Bell John 10 Print CoverA picture may be worth a thousand words, but in this case a single line of code is worth 300 pages and 70 illustrations. Still Water Senior Researcher John Bell is one of the authors of a new MIT Press book that scrutinizes a single line of code from the Commodore 64.

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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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Ben Fino-Radin of Rhizome has published a plan to keep the organization’s venerable collection of digital art alive in the foreseeable future. The scheme builds on previous research by Richard Rinehart and Still Water’s Forging the Future coalition, of which Rhizome was a founding partner.

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Egypt ProtestIn recent weeks the ThoughtMesh publishing platform has expanded to include videos of conference proceedings, reports on the 2011 Egyptian revolution, and book-length publications.

Critical Code Studies has launched a Mesh to publish proceedings of their 2010 conference, in conjunction with a HASTAC Scholars Forum on the same topic of software studies. The launch coincides with a major ThoughtMesh upgrade from Still Water Senior Researcher Craig Dietrich that enables videos and articles to coexist side-by-side. The videos include talks by keynote speaker Wendy Chun and a host of prominent scholars.

ThoughtMesh is a free publishing platform created by Still Water with sponsorship from USC’s Vectors journal. Once “meshed” with this software, any document is automatically linked via automatically generated tags to related documents across the Web.

Ccs LogoWhile the CCS Mesh gathers together seventeen presentations from the conference, many authors use ThoughtMesh to publish one document at a time. Just last week Egyptian-American Laila Shereen Sakr published a call to action based on her hash tag analysis engine that mines Twitter to follow anti-government protests in Egypt.

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Thoughtmesh Logo smaAccording to Colin Kloecker at the Walker Art Center, ThoughtMesh and The Pool are good tools for a healthy commons. He profiled these two open-source Still Water networks in a post leading up to the kickoff of the Walker’s Open Field initiative last June.

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Academics are taking their own sweet time adapting to a networked world, at least to judge from two reports that surfaced on the iDC discussion list last week. To judge from Neil Selwyn’s “The Educational Significance of Social Media” and to the UC Berkeley study “Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication,” there are still plenty of professors happily justifying their obsession with inbred subdisciplinary journals while Fox and Facebook steamroll over public discourse.

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Forging Logo Thought thuForging the Future has just launched its own Mesh–a set of documents linked by ThoughtMesh software–on the topic of variable media and preservation. The Mesh includes seventeen essays from the book Permanence Through Change: The Variable Media Approach, making this acclaimed publication accessible to even more readers, and automatically linking it to other texts on preservation published across the Web.

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Mit Press Journals Banner“New Criteria for New Media” topped the list of the most downloaded article from MIT’s Leonardo Journal with 798 downloads as of this writing. This article by Joline Blais, Steve Evans, Jon Ippolito, Owen F. Smith, and Nathan Stormer proposes concrete new academic guidelines for evaluating scholarship in the digital age, and has garnered enormous attention from university researchers and administrators alike.

A pdf version can be downloaded from the MIT Press Web site. An interactive version of the article can be found at ThoughtMesh.net.

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