The use of modern information and communication technologies - particularly in connection with open networks - is having varied impacts on traditional cultures. Culture is understood as transmitted and permanent collective complexes of meaning reflected in products, forms of production, institutions, patterns for action and values.
The following three trends interest the project: First, changes relating to traditional culture (e.g. in the form of novel production processes such as "printing-on-demand", of new formats e.g. book software, or of eBooks which are fully equipment-based). Second, new possibilities are emerging for cultural processes both in the sense of preserving the cultural heritage and in novel forms of media (multimedia). Third, lifestyle, behaviours and paradigms are subject to change as a result of the new media (communication behaviour, electronic business and models of democratic opinion-forming are just some examples).
Based on literature searches and expert consultations, the first step is to characterise the new information and communication technologies via basis analyses. The second step examines the changes in the major areas of cultural operations. Focus is on the "producers" of culture (authors, artists, etc.), the "users" of culture (visitors to theatres, museums etc.), the actors who market, sell and disseminate culture (galleries, publishing houses, libraries etc.). These analyses will be used to identify the interactions between modern information and communication technologies and culture, and provide exemplary profiles of the impacts on individual fields of culture. Considerations will centre on long-term potentials for change, on social impacts and change in social areas (above all science, law, education). In this way, more in-depth insights are to be obtained both into changes in cultural operations which are generated by the so-called new media, and into culturally shaped demands on the development and use of information and communication technologies.