Florian Cramer on Fri, 4 Feb 2000 20:19:48 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> RECLAIM THE NET!

Am Sun, 30.Jan.2000 um 02:41:05 -0500 schrieb Paul Garrin:

> Artist collective RepoHistory http://repohistory.org Lower East Side NY
> Alternative paper theSHADOW and Domain Name Pioneer NAME.SPACE are set to
> launch ReclaimThe.Net, a campaign to empower independent artists and media
> to regain and reclaim the freedom of speech and access that is threatened
> by the encroachment of corporate dominance over the net. 

Although the current mode of control over the DNS system is doubtlessly
questionable, I find that it only affects corporate or sort-of-corporate
projects. There is no reason to register top-level domains for your project
unless you want to build up a brandname. Otherwise, you could

(a) just stick with a subdirectory on your provider's host (see my

(b) stick with the IP number of your web server (like,
giving your site some nice 'underground' flavor;

(c) create a non-corporate subdomain system. Then it would be sufficient to
pay only one single top-level domain, like 'namespace.org', and create a
practically infinite number of free subdomains for non-corporate net
projects: "nettime.namespace.org", "jodi.namespace.org",
"mongrel.namespace.org" etc. To avoid NSI altogether, you could register a
".cc", ".nu" or ".to" domain for namespace instead.

It is my opinion that any literate person should be able to write down
and bookmark any type of URL. So why care about catchy dot.com/dot.org URLs
if your project is non-corporate, and aimed at literate people?

In a previous debate on net art, Olia Lialiana argued that originals _do_
exist in net art, with net art domain names functioning as their signifiers.
I find her argument plausible and valid. It implies that a net project is
done with a professional purpose, and that building up a brandname (in the
art world or elsewhere) is part of its concept. So if your project needs a
corporate identity in the net, it should be acceptable for you to submit to
the rules of the corporate DNS system. Others simply don't have to play this


Florian Cramer, PGP public key ID 6440BA05
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