The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the authority that controls the internet by managing the database of addresses of every website and webpage, recently announced the list of companies who have applied to open and manage new top-level domain names.
Among the list of the most requested TLDs (Top Level Domain) is .art, with 10 requests.
As an artist and author of this art dedicated blog, I stress the importance of assigning such an important domain to a company that will not only guarantee the development of the new extension, but will also follow a discerning policy for its use.
Only a company with long experience and established presence in the art world, managed by art related people, will have the abillity to offer the best experience for the future users of the new .art T.L.D.
On the contrary, companies created for the sole purpose of having control of the domain, should not be considered.
In whatever way you relate to the arts industry: as an artist, art collector, museum curator, gallerist, art lover, etc, your opinion matters.
On a side note, this whole process hasn't been exempt from controversy, as you can read in an article from April 2012, mentioning the dispute of Paul Garrin, founder of name.space, the East Village-based start-up, in 1996, against ICANN.
From a total of 482 internet domains, in 2000 , name.space paid ICANN a $50,000 application fee for approval of 118 of its T.L.D.s, seeking to gain access to the main root. To this day, ICANN has yet to resolve Garrin’s application. The .art T.L.D. is one of those.