The Art Domain
e-flux would like to know your thoughts regarding the art domain. All opinions, proposals and suggestions regarding the art domain will be brought to the attention of the advisory committee currently being formed for the art domain. Profanity and any material which constitutes defamation, harassment, or abuse is prohibited.

#2 ANON 2 years ago
Will the .art domain be edited? Who by? Will this be a curated list?

#3 Todd K 2 years ago
I am in full support of an arts organization managing the .art domain, but I think the broad spectrum or what art entails, and the diverse communities that art serves, would demand a focus perhaps broader than what e-flux would like to be. There's a far reach between current trends of contemporary art and the non-profit providing artistic opportunities for developmentally-disabled individuals.

#4 mjc 2 years ago
I read most of the application to ICANN, and remain unconvinced that e-flux has the reach or neutrality to manage this TLD.

The application focuses on the commercial explorations of the TLD. If the commercial structure mirrors that currently employed on the announcement list, prices will be high, and beyond the reach of individual artists. The commercial target is large institutions and commercial galleries.

There is also a editorial side to granting domains under the .art TLD. If you consider e-flux's announcement service, the high price range is not the only limit on using it. Unpublished (i.e. not open) editorial rules are applied.

It can be argued both ways that the .art domain should be as open as say .com, or limited in some way such as some countries where you must be resident or registered business. Any such rules need to be published, open, and clearly applied.

I think the cost should be similar to existing TLDs; which the reach of the individual.

#5 ANON 2 years ago
I would like to know how do you expect to managed the Art domain if you get to do it.

Would you give priority to existing organizations?

Would you ask applicants to fill a proper application?


#7 e-flux 2 years ago

Comment ID: d1ksnjyv
Name:Nicolas Bernheim
Applicant:EFLUX.ART, LLC
Application ID:1-1675-51302
Panel/Objection Ground:Community Objection Ground domain
Comment Submission Date:
13 August 2012 at 12:26:08 UTC


To whom it may concern:

My name is Nicolas and I am an Art lover and collector. I have been informed about e-flux project by e-mail on their .ART extension project. (

I read carefully their project and must say that I am very disappointed and shocked about the way e-flux plan to use the .art domain.

The fact that every person willing to create a .art domain will have to get approval of an advisory board goes completely against what art is in general and its profound liberal values. It is not up to someone to decide what the art world is. It is not e-flux, museums, curators or whoever to decide what art is.

Art is by definition subjective and in constant evolution. It is subversive, provocative, educative, emotional and free.
It is the duty of the competent authority to give the .art domain the same freedom that art has in the real world.

A domain name should be a mean, a tool, to help communicate a message to the world. By limiting the access to this domain, we are only hurting the art world, the artists and every future online art form.

For this reason, I oppose e-flux application, as a community, but also as an applicant.

Thank You,


#8 e-flux 2 years ago

Comment ID: zsdhccdr
Name: Peter Martin
Applicant: EFLUX.ART, LLC
String: ART
Application ID: 1-1675-51302
Panel/Objection Ground: Registry Services Evaluation Panel
Subject: No to a Closed-TLD

My name is Martin Peter and I am a Dancer.

Through my daily practice of the Internet, I face numerous problems finding things online, but also trying to make my way on the web, especially for someone with such a common nickname as Peter Martin.

I don’t know a lot of things about what people call SEO or even how to appear first on Internet searches.

It is already difficult to exist online outside social networks. And now that a new extension program exists, and that one of those extensions is related to me, I do place expectations in it.

.ART new gTLD deserve its existence. While reading about it and talking with people, I realized some applicants want to create a closed community. Something difficult to get in, where I would need to be accepted by some people I don’t know.

My practice already is difficult and a lot of gates exists in real life, becoming a dancer is hard work for me. The Internet deserves to remain open and free, and shall not be held by people deciding who might get in or not for whatever reason.

For this reason, I oppose to E-Flux’s application for the .ART new gTLD.

Thank you,

Peter Martin

#9 e-flux 2 years ago

Comment ID: d5de054x
Name: Amaury Hubert
Affiliation: interior designer
Applicant: EFLUX.ART, LLC
String: ART
Application ID: 1-1675-51302
Panel/Objection Ground: Community Objection Ground
Subject: ART

Dear evaluator,

I am Amaury Hubert, Interior Designer.

I am here to express concerns regarding E-Flux’s application for the .ART new gTLD.

The artistic community has no need for a closed community to take control of the .ART extension.

Setting boundaries is contrary to many people’s approach towards the Internet. It needs to remain open and shall not be controlled by a board, a museum or a group of curators. If I decide to become someone on the .ART extension, I shall be able to buy one. Even if today I’m not considered an artist by everyone, I want to be able to consider myself one and to buy a .ART because I am a creative and art is for the creative.

Thank You,

Amaury Hubert

#10 e-flux 2 years ago

If granted the rights, e-flux plans to return a considerable portion of revenues generated by administering the .art domain service “in the form of grants and funding for underfunded art institutions, organizations and projects.”

#11 e-flux 2 years ago
Dear all,

Thanks so much for your thoughts and sorry if we haven't been more clear on some of these points already.

To respond to some of the concerns that have come up:

We need to bear in mind first that this is not a "winner takes all" type of a situation. The new domains on the internet add a new resource without necessarily replacing old ones - they will create new names just as they will create new conflicts of interest.
Art is similarly not a field where someone's gain comes from another's loss - even if we wanted to, we could not 'control' what is art, because this is decided by the multitude of artists who make art and art institutions that validate art by presenting it as such. Imagining a scarcity of resources in this regard allows for a convenient argument that artists are being victimized, but in fact there is thankfully no hegemonic mechanism that limits what can and cannot be called art.

We believe that, while a .art domain name will indicate a clear relation to art, it will not usurp or diminish the relation to art when there is no .art domain name.

.art will encounter scarcity and conflicts of interest when multiple parties seek the same name. The dominant model of openness on the internet places names in the hands of highest bidder or fastest squatter. ICANN are trying to build a model around communities with the knowledge to arbitrate these conflicts ethically, as we know that the free market is not always fair to those lacking in resources or technical expertise. Some have confused this arbitration with curation, but in fact .art would not police its content or employ any form of gatekeeping using aesthetic standards.

The more important questions concern, for example, how generic URLs such as '' should be treated. These pose an enormous challenge, and it is something we hope our community can help us to address. Heterogeneity, indeed. But how?

Regarding the question of curation and openness, there is something that perhaps needs to be clarified. Institutions of art are governed by a logic of inclusion and exclusion that falls in line with their scope, mission, capacity, and public. When they navigate this logic well and challenge themselves and their audiences, they are celebrated for providing a valuable service to the public—and they are typically expected to be as accessible as possible to this public. More progressive institutions try to expand the notion of art by being open in their programming to artists who test or transgress the limits of art as we understand it. Save for a few unfortunate examples, not many museums are open enough to, say, rent their exhibition spaces out to the highest bidder. Even fewer are open enough to dedicate their resources to exhibitions curated by members of the public, although this would be an extremely interesting development.

Like most practitioners and institutions in the arts, e-flux is situated where the private and public spheres overlap in art and in life. Being a private company allows us to distribute valuable information to tens of thousands of interested people for free. It allows us to finance critical exhibitions, publications, and projects (also freely available) without having to adhere to a narrow, instrumental mission or a board of rich and powerful individuals assembled to secure philanthropic funding, who often effectively come to control institutions they were invited to help. A large percentage of our revenue is from public sources, and our audience is none other than the art public. Our survival and our interest lies in serving this public, which we do not ask for revenue in admission fees or donations.

Approximately a third of our income is used towards publishing our journal and books, organizing and presenting exhibitions, lectures, and symposia, and developing art projects like unitednationsplaza, e-flux video rental, Martha Rosler Library, time/bank and others. The rest covers salaries and health insurance for our employees, rent, technical development, taxes, and other routine operational expenses. e-flux does not own property and does not have an art collection. We hold no toxic assets.

As we have mentioned, the revenue generated by .art will be used to endow an independent, public foundation that will redistribute this money to artists and organizations in need of financial support, headed by a peer review board. In our application to ICANN we committed to redistributing a minimum of 10% of profits, however we sincerely wish to give back a larger share of funds and will work towards this.

Finally, it is important to clarify a common misunderstanding that the critical content e-flux publishes and produces serves to "redeem" the money-generating activity of our announcement service. It is not so simple as this, because over the course of more than a decade, it has been our announcement service that has provided an unprecedented forum for art that has, in turn, brought forth a globally dispersed, committed art public. This was at a moment when the field of art became very decentralized, with artists and important exhibitions moving away from a handful of traditional centers of art to many places in the world. Our announcement service addressed, and even played some part in producing this emergent global art public in a way that traditional forums couldn't—and our exhibitions, publications, lectures, and projects serve this public.



#12 James B 2 years ago
The best candidate for management of the .ART gTLD will display several qualities. Some of these qualities are indeed met by E-Flux, LLC. One such quality held by E-Flux include a long, diverse, global, and deep-rooted history with art, artisans, and art organizations. Another such quality held by E-Flux is forward-thinking from within an informed and objective community-minded seat in the arts world. Finally, E-Flux does appear to nobly adopt another important quality that the .ART gTLD manager will need to possess, which is a considerate and philanthropic rapport with the art world.

However, these are not the only qualities by far. Undoubtedly, for the manager of a new gTLD, the most important quality will be technical capability. Idealism will only go so far, although many of E-Flux's ideals are also important for the .ART manager to possess. E-Flux's proven record of success is not standing as a leader at the forefront of technological innovation in the global art community, although E-Flux has lent a hand in that technological innovation. E-Flux has established itself primarily as an invaluable tool to network art, artists, and curators; to promote the arts; and to get its important art mailing list in the hands of those who need it. It cannot be argued that E-Flux is a critical and invaluable asset to the art world, but it most certainly can be argued that they would not be the best fit to manage the .ART gTLD.

The management of this gTLD will certainly require utilizing such valued networking resources such as that E-Flux warmly offers, this is true. It is my hope that, upon losing the application bid, E-Flux decides to work closely with the manager as able to ensure .ART best serves the global community.

I can understand E-Flux's ambition to manage .ART, but unfortunately cannot agree that such ambition is correctly placed. It should be E-Flux's ambition to help shape the .ART management, given a worthy manager other than E-Flux awarded the position.

The art world is certainly full of important factors seated in official and academic channels, but these are not the only important factors of the art world.

I do agree that museums, organizations, curators, and institutions should have quality representation at the new .ART gTLD, but E-Flux will have a more effective and appropriate hand in this by engaging in important discourse with said entities on how best to move to the new .ART domains. An unfitting hand for E-Flux would be engaged in trying to manage the gTLD itself.

For instance, while E-Flux touts an open-minded approach to art, artists, and what is professionally and officially exhibited by credible art institutions, and these factors come with their own set of modus operandi to keep in consideration for those entities moving to the new gTLD, it does not take into consideration the vast majority of global art not moving within those channels.

An example of this can be seen in E-Flux's statement on their new website in their piece, "The Art Domain:"

"e-flux is the only applicant from within the art community to apply for the .Art domain"

How can an entity readily willing to dismiss the 22 million users of deviantArt find themselves capable of representing the best interests of the entire global community of artists?

It is my understanding that Dadotart, Inc., contrary to E-Flux's statement, is very much one of the applicants, and very much an applicant from within the art community.

Again, I recognize the importance of E-Flux's place in the art world, but I do not believe that place includes managing a new gTLD, a very lofty technical ambition to say the least that will require a greater knowledge of ICANN's future-thinking spirit and the inclusive greater good for all artists, whether they be artists featured at MoMA or not.

Thank you for your time.

Warm v/r.

#13 James B 2 years ago
Also, without insult, I would like to add that Starbucks would likely venture so far as to donate 10 percent of the .ART gTLD management revenue to charitable causes. It would be folly to give this noble claim any credibility, because the spirit of art and innovation is simply not for sale and cannot be purchased for a promise of a cut of the profit.

While I am not questioning E-Flux's motives in their claim to donate portions of the revenue to charities and artists, I am also unable to give the claim any weight of credibility or relevance. A portion of revenue donated is not an indication that a quality management job will occur.

Conversely, Dadotart, Inc.'s parent company deviantArt is actively engaged in awarding generous grants to artists and charities through their Creative Grants program. I imagine such initiatives will not end at deviantArt and are likely to continue with Dadotart, Inc.'s management of .ART.

Thank you for your time, again.

Warm v/r.

#14 e-flux 2 years ago
Dear James,

Thank you for your response on behalf of dadoart, who have submitted a competing application to administer the .art domain. While your position does not appear to be objective, the points you raise are valid. We feel that the art domain should be managed by an organization with deep knowledge and experience with international art organizations, art history and living art practitioners from all parts of the world, and with oversight by an independent peer review committee representing various important sectors of the art field: educators, curators of art, museum administrators, artists, historians, writers and critics, and so forth.

It is important to understand that the .art domain would be just as open to users of your service as to an artist who has, as you say, exhibited at MoMA. Let us not forget that many members of the public who are not "in" art look to prestigious and grass-roots arts institutions alike for inspiration and knowledge about the history of art. Our application recognizes the importance of art education and art exhibitions as being fundamentally inclusive and open to all people. 

#15 James B 2 years ago
Great response. Again, it is my hope that all interests will work with whoever is awarded the management position. Were E-Flux to have this position awarded, I do not imagine deviantArt to turn a sour nose. I think it is no great leap to imagine that the majority of arts interests groups will have a genuine interest to see the .ART gTLD managed nobly.

I do want to add that I am not affiliated with deviantArt or Dadotart, Inc. A strong point that Dadotart, Inc. has that has swayed my opinion is their technical and legal capabilities, and that their community application states an intent to include groups such as E-Flux towards a fair and global management.

My interest in this ICANN process is as a futures studies student. I do wish all applicants with truly noble intent the best in this process.

I do lack a certain objectivity in that I lack art, technical, and legal academic experience and expertise required to fully fathom all of this ICANN process, and I appreciate your comment to this point. This has definitely been a learning experience, however, and I am glad to be participating in this global conversation.

Thanks for your response.

Very warm v/r.

#16 James B 2 years ago
I have found support and endorsements for E-Flux's .ART gTLD campaign that are not clear about affiliation. For instance, many of E-Flux's clients from their client list do not disclose that they are clients. Additionally, many of these supporters copy or cite text that they were given by E-Flux where it is stated that E-Flux is the only applicant from within the arts community. I am sure these are unintended, but to continue without transparency would be highly irresponsible. Please help us go through the five endorsement documents included with the E-Flux public application as well as the supporting comments on ICANN so that we can clearly see which comments and endorsements are affiliated when affiliation is not stated. Also, please make a correction in your publication, as I am certain E-Flux strives to continue to present itself as a trustworthy and credible source of information in the arts world. E-Flux is not the only applicant from within the arts community. Thanks in advance for remedying the oversights!

#17 James B 2 years ago
I have created a publicly visible spreadsheet with notes on each E-Flux comment at ICANN (double posts and unrelated posts posted to the incorrect ICANN public comment area were left out):

Additionally, the five endorsement documents can be found here:

E-Flux's stated client list appears here:

Please help resolve any inconsistencies, such as affiliations not disclosed, or institutions that need to correct published text stating E-Flux as the only applicant within the art community. For instance, this text appears on CIMAM's website, directly copied from text given to them by E-Flux. I am certain neither E-Flux nor CIMAM intended to mislead their audiences, and it stands to reason that helping to fix these errs will be appreciated.

#18 Matthew Stadler 2 years ago
Thanks for replying. Given the community you are dealing with, and with which you enjoy so many affinities, it would be easiest and best to post your tax returns so we see all of eFlux's finances. That would be a meaningful step toward transparency.

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