.ART, the widely-contested Top Level Domain bid, was finally settled in a private ICANN auction, with both e-flux and DeviantArt losing out to UK Creative Arts Limited.
The news come as a blow to the two art organizations, who joined forces last year in the hopes of ensuring that the administration of the new .ART Domain would be an authentic Internet address for the arts community. Of the total 10 applicants, e-flux and DeviantArt were the only two who had applied for “community designation”, as there was expressed concern regarding the potential for the domain to be exploited by commercial interests.
Despite a widely distributed online campaign —including e-flux’s letter of endorsement from curators and artists worldwide as well as support from DeviantArt’s 31 million+ users — there had been internal debate in the art world with e-flux running the campaign at all.
More after the jump.