Lecture at the international seminar of the European research network Digital Radio Cultures in Europe (COST A20)
Egham, June 18-20, 2004



This is an introduction to the theoretical and methodological framework for the study of the impact that the internet has on the artistic communication.

The first part introduces the main changes of the artistic communication brought about by modernity. It also analyses briefly commodification, intermediation and emancipation as the main features of this form of communication in modern societies.

In the second part, the analysis regards reproduction and broadcast as two successive phases in the development of the ways to distribute artworks and introduces a review of the analytic term "mediamorphosis". Although the term is introduced at the beginning of the '70s, it is elaborated just at the beginning of the '90s in the fields of the communication and journalism studies (by Fidler) and in the sociology of music (by Blaukopf). By the beginning of the next decade, the term is used in the sociology of the arts (by A. Schmudits), in order to signify the major changes of the cultural and artistic production brought about by the development of the mass communication and the media. In this context, the lecture explores the main features of the artistic communication in its most recent phase - the internet.

The third part of the lecture describes the main features of the mediamorphosis of the artistic communication through the internet: digitalization, global dissemination, interactivity, development of the global multimedia conglomerates, production designed as ever-expanding revenue stream, flexible specialization and finally high concentration and diversification, but - at the same time - high degrees of product diversity and consumer choice.

Finally, in this complex and contradictory context, the lecture describes in broad strokes the main asymmetries and antinomies of the current phase in the development of the artistic communication, as well as its different aspects.