e-flux Offers Early .ART Domain Registration to Professionals

by Paddy Johnson on February 2, 2017 · 1 comment Newswire

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Just how important is it for art professionals have access to .ART domains? The conceptual artists behind the collective e-flux believe it’s essential and have thus spent six years working on the project and hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to secure management of the domain. Ultimately they lost the bid to UK Creative Ideas Limited (UKCI) in 2015, a set back that as of yesterday turned out to be only temporary. On Wednesday e-flux announced their collaboration with UKCI to offer early access to the .ART domain to those who are signed up to e-flux mailing list, starting February 8th and running through May 8th.

The basic concept driving e-flux’s efforts is pretty straight forward.  Just as “.com” instantly signifies for-profit company, “.org” a non-profit organization and “.net” a network (or more commonly—that the .com and .org domains under that name were unavailable), they believe .ART will eventually become instantly synonymous with art. But only if .ART actually hosts art organizations. If it does not, the word’s meaning will erode and contribute to confusion as to what constitutes art and its purpose.

Undoubtedly, there’s room for debate as to whether the meaning of art and its purpose will be so tied to domains, and where readers fall on the issue will likely inform their interpretation of the organization’s goals. For example, the e-flux announcement that only those subscribed to their mailer will receive early access to the domains could read as a transparent attempt to increase the size of their mailing list. And indeed, the language of the press release instills the urgency of the most effective sales pitches.

e-flux has joined forces with the rights holder in charge of operating and selling the .ART domain addresses to create a special professional period from February 8 to May 9 when core practitioners in the art community can become the first to register .ART domain addresses, before they become available to general public. This is an important and time-sensitive opportunity to secure your name or the name of your organization, as well as other names relevant to you. After the professional period ends on May 9, many addresses may significantly increase in price or become unavailable.

Our own position on the matter, though, is that this is fundamentally a good-will effort. The press release notes early adopters like The Walker Art Center, The Dia Art Foundation, and Van Abbemuseum in an effort to get people to sign up, and if the long history of administrative and financial efforts involved in this endeavor were not enough, they are transparent about their objectives in the press release. “Our goal,” they write “is to give everyone in the arts early access and first choice of addresses.”

Those who want that access should sign up today.


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