Just a note to explain the ‘slowdown’ popup on PS122.org today. Visitors of PS122 are probably already in favor of Net Neutrality in but we wanted to take a moment to explain why it’s so important to Arts orgs PS122 in particular. If large ISPs have their way (Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon in NYC) all content on the internet will be split into tiered levels- paid content receiving priority on their networks over all other content.
For an arts org who rose from obscurity, this tiered access is particularly distasteful. In the 80’s when PS122 was a group of artists squatting in an abandoned school building in a bad neighborhood downtown, we were known as a cultural petri dish: a breeding ground for new artists that often filtered into mainstream culture like HBO shows and Broadway runs. In the 90’s, PS122 built their first website, and the iterations that followed increased our reach to tens of thousands of new audience members reaching far beyond the East Village.
In the past few years while our building is under renovation, PS122.org has been our home base. Our shows are on piers, our events are on rooftops, but the only place to find out what PS122 is doing is on ps122.org and we are happy to be on a level playing field with every other site on the internet. In a tiered system, many arts organizations including PS122 would be unable to afford fees for fast-lane internet, and our home base, like our once-neglected school building in the once-neglected East Village, would be relegated to a dusty corner of the internet.
So please sign the petition, and call lawmakers to keep arts websites vibrant and to give arts groups of the future the same opportunities PS122 had.