Flick Harrison on Fri, 22 Jun 2012 14:35:42 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Fwd: The .art TLD again: E-Flux are soliciting support for their bid

Is there really going to be some kind of thoughtful vetting process to
get a .art domain? That seems rather dubious. If there's a stampede of
thousands of folks on day 1, who is going to sift through those in a
timely manner?

Also, what legitimacy / status will be conferred upon the winners of
this land grab? Will the general public, art critics, fellow artists,
etc, really consider a .art domain to have some value?

Does anyone on this list rub their hands with glee at the thought of a
.art domain?

That being said, I do like the idea of a committee that will oversee
it with altruistic intentions, and give some of the money back to art
organizations? although I have a feeling this effort will be centred
in the same community in which e-flux is based? which brings me to my
main criticism:

When they express

"the hopes of maintaining and distributing such a domain in a way that
emphasizes the quality, content, and educational and ethical values of
the art community"

I ask myself - art community who?!

What are the ethical values of the art community?!

There is no such thing as "the art community" and anyone who says the
opposite obviously has some self-interested reason for attempting to
lump the world's creative energy into one fenced-in unit. (Hint: that
unit might take the form of a top-level domain).

The "so-and-so" community is an overused and frankly mis-used concept
that seems to have supplanted real social analysis in the day-to-day
of left-wing discourse. I mean, what is "the gay community?" What is
"the disabled community?" These aren't communities, or shouldn't be;
they are subsets of society, sprinkled throughout every community,
with less in common than they have as differences. I mean, it sounds
progressive and nice to say "the gay community" when you are talking
about homophobia, oppression, gay-bashing etc, because "community"
implies that you respect them, you think they have values and
relationships etc. All very good because the opposite view tries to
dehumanize gay people in order to facilitate discrimination. And in
fact there are elements of a gay community in any population centre,
where people band together to face discrimination, celebrate their
pride, etc or just hang out (ahem)? but at best these clusters are "a"
gay community, not "the" gay community.

But take it a step further - would you ever talk about "the female
community?" The very concept is absurd. Despite a precisely parallel
set of political reasons for using this phrase, it's prima facie
nonsense. There is no female community. Women make up roughly half
of most communities, and there is no community that is entirely made
up of women. You would be hard-pressed to draw up a list of shared
values, culture, issues and attitudes among "the female community."

It's more reasonable to say "the Italian community" for instance
because language, culture etc is easy to draw a line around.

I've worked at plenty of community centres, and even in any given
geographically specific location in North America, there is very
little community - it's one of the major problems in our society. Most
people take part in work, and extended family spread out across the
continent, but spend no time in "their community" outside of their
living room entertainment centre, and thence to the freeway on-ramp.



* FLICK's WEBSITE & BLOG: http://www.flickharrison.com 

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