The Art Domain:

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 internet to find answers to questions about art, the results they get will, over time, shape their conception of art.

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.

It is incredibly important for all of us in the arts that the Art domain on the internet be developed by a knowledgeable and responsible party, and in a focused and accessible way.

It is for this reason that 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, critics and curators, will be formed to oversee 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.

We envision the Art domain as an important resource for art professionals, educators, institutions, and especially the public at large.

We need your support to keep the domain of Art in the community of people who make, study, present and love art.

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