We received an official announcement from e-flux regarding its application for the top-level domain name .art, which they say “will have a serious impact for art practitioners, institutions of art, and art publics world wide.” (If there was any question of the importance of this, e-flux illustrated their press release with Bruegel’s The Tower of Babel to hammer the point home.)
According to a statement:
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.
E-flux began in 1999 as an art-world mailing list and has since grown to include a monthly journal, traveling exhibitions and a gallery space.
The new top-level domains will, essentially, restructure the web and the way people search. People looking for information about food will find it in the .food domain, people searching for cars will find it in the .car domain and so forth. There were several other companies that applied for control of .art. The company that ultimately wins the bid for the domain will be in charge of organizing it and building it up over the course of a decade. They will decide who can and can’t apply for a site within the domain. The application for the top-level domain alone cost $185,000.