‘More Clearly Define The Intelligibility And Authenticity Of Art Enterprises’: Guardian on .ART

The launch of the .art new gTLD has captivated some in the artistic world and has even made it to the culture pages of London’s Guardian newspaper.

“The intent is to bring back a more orderly structure to this incredible mess of the internet,” says Anton Vidokle, the entrepreneur behind the art company e-flux, who acted as an adviser to UKCI, a UK-based company that signed an agreement with ICANN to administer .art.

The article says Vidokle believes distributing the .art extension to artists or art-related businesses will help to more clearly define the intelligibility and authenticity of art enterprises – and perhaps contribute to the continuing viability of the art business.

“There are maybe 6,000 art institutions [working with e-flux] and perhaps half of them have no reference to visual art in their names,” Vidokle says. He estimates that there are at least 20,000 institutions worldwide. “If they cater to the public, they may want the public to identify them as an art space because people immediately understand your professional affiliation.”

He adds: “Being an artist implies a normative departure from bourgeois society. It’s a different kind of extension because it refers to a different lifestyle, so, unlike other domains, .art has the capacity to draw artists and institutions to itself.”

One organisation that has started to use .art is London’s Institute of Contemporary Art, who adopted a .Art domain name last week. The article notes it’s “a sign that the art and culture business may at last be starting to come to terms with its future in the digital realm.”

“The hip arts organisation ditched its fusty ica.org.uk web domain for the more streamlined and descriptive ica.art.”

The article in The Guardian is available online at: