Who will reign over .art domain? E-flux wants crown

E-flux makes a bid for one of the newly released premium domain names, .art.

In 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced over five hundred new top-level domain names. Among them is the coveted .art domain, which ten organisations, including E-flux, are vying for control over.

Screenshot of E-flux's journal archive, which dates back to November 2011 and contains many articles on contemporary art.

Art professional network and information distribution platform E-flux is one of ten organisations that have paid USD185,000. Unlike traditional domain names, the winning group will receive the exclusive right to manage that listing. As E-flux explains in their press release,

The structure of the Internet is about to shift in such a way that most information pertaining to food will be found in a .food domain, while most information on cars will likely be found in a .car domain, and so forth. While at the moment this may appear to be a small technical modification, it may have very significant consequences in the long run. For many people, the Internet has already become a major educational tool. And while the internet is the first place we look to when we seek to learn something, it also has a capacity that goes beyond this: as millions of people around the world use the internet to find answers to questions about art, the results they get will, over time, shape their conception of art.

Other applicants for the new designation include Dadotart, Inc., owners of DeviantART, and law service provider Merchant Law Group LLP. While some speculate that many of the other bidders for the .art domain name are motivated purely by profit potential, E-flux is stressing that they hope to bring an element of professionalism and oversight to the web-based art community.

It is incredibly important for all of us that the .art domain on the Internet be developed by a knowledgeable and responsible party, and in a focused and accessible way. E-flux has applied for the rights to develop and administer the .art domain, with the hopes of maintaining and distributing such a domain in a way that emphasises the quality, content and educational and ethical values of the art community – something we have been able to achieve with the E-flux announcement service for over a decade. Should we get the rights to develop the .art domain, an advisory board of artists, art historians and curators will be formed to oversee the policies of this important resource.

The website has also pledged to donate ten percent of the revenues generated by their management of the domain name to funding for a range of arts institutions, projects and organisations. ICANN is currently accepting comments on the finalists, and an evaluation panel will make the final decision on which applicant is most qualified to manage the domain name. In the event that two or more of the applicants are equally qualified, a bidding war will ensue.


Related Topics: business of art, art funding, art resources, art and the Internet

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