u19 - Create Your World

Goldene Nica - Golden Nica


School - Name der Institution
HBLA für künstlerische Gestaltung Linz

Lisa Buttinger (AT)

Nonvisual-art is an image made by harnessing the physical phenomenon of light refraction in two ways. Two polarizing foils and cellophane foils arranged in multiple layers and at various angles transform what appears to be nothing into vivid colors. The 3-D glasses provided for installation visitors deliver an even more extraordinary visual experience, immersing the viewer into a multi-hued fantasy world whose spectrum of colors can be modified at will. This is meant to enable viewers to experience something akin to what I did when I created this work—to rediscover childlike curiosity and enjoy playful experimentation.

Short introduction: The project is viewed through a polarizing filter. When the installation visitor then dons the 3-D glasses and adjusts the filter to face straight ahead, the 3-D effect made by the intense colors is strongest. Then, rotating the filter changes the colors of the image.

Project history: Even as a child, I loved to draw and I was interested in the interplay of colors. The design workshops I attended and the art history courses I took at the High School for Artistic Design in Linz were my favorite subjects, and art is now a big part of my life. But, when I was a young girl full of curiosity and the urge to question everything, I found physics tremendously fascinating too. I already had my first encounter with the refraction of light at the age of eight, when I noticed the lovely colors on the reverse side of my CDs, peeled the foil off of one, and tinkered together a pair of glasses that refracted light. The subject of light refraction came up again in a physics class almost 10 years later, when I also first became acquainted with the phenomenon of a polarizing filter, which I would continue to experiment with on an extracurricular basis too. Then, in my final year of high school when I chose “Illusion” as the topic of my final project and diploma thesis, I continued my research, and that’s how I came up with the idea for nonvisual-art. Essential to the development of my project were the many experiments I ran to familiarize myself with the material and to understand it. First of all, I had to find out which color gradations [shades] were possible, in order to then transfer them by means of photographs to the design I painstakingly prepared in Photoshop. In going about this, I used the computer’s screen both as a source of light and as a second polarizing filter. This gave me the idea to experiment with the color mixture of cellophane and color on the screen, or to design a part of the image on the computer. I also experimented with various adhesives for the cellophane until I was satisfied with the structure, with the bubbles on the surface of the image. Once I had developed the design of my motif in Photoshop, I printed it out and used it as the basis for all subsequent steps. The most difficult part of the project was to bond the 1-4 layers of cellophane foil at precisely the right angle to each other and to the polarizing filter in order to achieve just the right colors. Then I drew the motif, cut it out, and bonded it to the polarizing filter, which took several attempts before I got the colors right. Finally, I attached the foil to an LED panel to illuminate it as strongly as possible. Ultimately, my interest in physics and my extracurricular research on physical phenomena brought to my attention an article about ChromaDepth 3-D glasses that also work by means of light refraction and which don’t necessitate processing the image. I immediately got the idea of combining both techniques, and thus not only making it possible for installation visitors to get a glimpse into another world but also enabling them to completely immerse themselves in an otherwise invisible realm.


Lisa Buttinger

Lisa Maria Buttinger was born in 1997 in Braunau, Upper Austria. She attended Schalchen Elementary School 2004-08, Braunau Preparatory School 2008-12, and then Linz High School for Artistic Design, from which she graduated in April 2017. While at prep school, an enriched program for gifted youngsters enabled her to also attend Schloss Traunsee Academy. In 2014, in conjunction with a mandatory internship, she got four weeks of experience in the private sector at media.dot.