We are writing to inform you about a new
development that will have a serious impact for art practitioners,
institutions of art, and art publics world wide.
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
The authority that controls the internet by managing the
database of addresses of every website and webpage (ICANN), has accepted
applications and announced the list of companies who have applied to
open and manage new top-level domain names—what comes after the dot
in the web address: .com, .org, .uk and so forth. The application process
is now closed; nearly 2000 applications were submitted and more than
500 new internet domains will be approved within a year, ranging from .baby
to .berlin and .art.
A full list of new domains that will
come into existence in a few months can be viewed here.
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 emphasizes 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. We have also pledged to return a significant part of the income
produced by this service back to the art community, in the form of
grants and funding for art institutions and projects in places where art
funding is insufficient or entirely lacking.
Beginning in 1999
as an informal mailing list, e-flux is an artist-run organization that has
grown tremendously over the past ten years, largely due to your
involvement. In 2008 we were able to start a free monthly journal whose
readership now extends to many parts of the world. We have published books
and realized many projects, exhibitions, lectures, and seminars, all of
which were made available to audiences internationally. Most
importantly, we have been able to develop and maintain a truly independent
resource for information on contemporary art that is trusted, highly
regarded, and accessible to readers for free. We envision the Art
domain as an important resource for art professionals, educators,
institutions, and especially the public at large.
is the only applicant from the art community and we feel that it's
extremely important that the Art domain be managed from within our
community. The process of evaluating our application
has started and we are up against corporate investors and commercial
interests, some of whom have many millions to spend, and who have
secured high power law firms, etc.
For those of you
who would like to learn more about e-flux's plans and commitment to
the art community as it regards to .ART TLD, please
review our application at here.
We need your support to keep the domain of Art in the community of
people who make, study, present, and love art. ICANN is now accepting
public comments, which can be made via this link.
The comments will be considered by independent evaluators and will make a
difference, and your endorsement would be deeply appreciated.
A draft endorsement comment could
look like this:
organization/individual practitioner, (insert name), is an active member of
the art community since (insert date / year). Our activities consist of
(briefly describe your organization or your professional activity), as
can be seen on our website (insert URL).
We fully support and
endorse e-flux's application for the .ART TLD, and share their
forward-looking vision for this innovative name space.
(insert name of representative)
(insert name of
individual/ company / organization)