In Innovation and Challenges in the European Media, pp. 345-376
Editors: Sophia Kaitatzi-Whitlock, Alexandros Baltzis
Thessaloniki: University Studio Press 2006



This paper explores from a sociological viewpoint the significance of the interactivity and non-linearity for the artistic communication in an environment created by the new media - and mainly by the Internet. By the beginning of the 21st century interactivity and non-linearity might bring about major qualitative changes in the structure and the functions of the artistic communication. Literature, music, films, the visual arts and other forms of art are affected by changes that concern the creation and the production, the dissemination and the distribution, as well as the reception of symbolic-aesthetic forms.

In the creative field non-linearity and interactivity resulted in new types of artworks thus raising several aesthetic issues. At the same time, in a free access network environment these principles affect the dissemination and the reception of the artworks as they may - under certain conditions - have an overwhelming impact on established structures and institutions related to the artistic communication.

Interactivity and non-linearity raise also several issues concerning the educational and cultural policy, since they finally place in the foreground the recipient not as an anonymous unit - part of an impersonal mass - but as a person actively engaged in the aesthetic experience.