Franz Fischnaller

interdisciplinary scholar / practitioner


„Developing revolutionary works on an artistic conceptual level, in which technology plays an active role“ ( „By combining classical art techniques like painting, engraving, drawing, sculpture and frescoes with new media and virtual technology/augmented reality“ (Wikipedia) a new art form is created. For his digital style this interdisciplinary creative (author, designer, project manager, curator) is recognised across the fields of art, technology, humanities and cultural heritage.

Franz Fischnaller

interdisciplinary scholar / practitioner


Franz Fischnaller
Franz Fischnaller | © YMS

Very impressive is such an artistic development, presented by only four selected key projects: in 1995 Franz Fischnaller caused wide attention with his 1.7 meter high sculpture ‚Lautriv (reversal for virtual) Chromagnon Medusa‘ that interacted with the public. 2013 brought „The Last Supper Interactive“, a real-time, immersive and interactive, virtual narrative stereo application aka learning device based on Leonardo da Vinci’s mural painting from the late 15th century. 2022 saw two outstanding premieres: 1.  the project ‚Tuebke Monumental‘ - the universal message of the 1,200 square meters wide figurative painting called „Early Bourgeiois Revolution Germany“ was broken down into 12 key scenes. These are interpreted within 25 minutes as a dynamic cycle that is visualised by 25 projectors as a 360-degree installation in 3D on a very large area in the hall. 2. FRUIT ART | REAL Vs VIRTUAL LIFE () - a 8K-3D stereo high-definition immersive storytelling series gravitating around the invisible multilayered universe of the fruit’s inner body to visualize the unimaginable and uncovering the poetry of the unseen in nature.  

The man who is responsible for providing astonishment by opening doors into new horizons is Franz Fischnaller (* 1954 in Bolzano/Italy). He comes from a classical art background, using techniques such as painting, engraving, drawing, sculpture, frescoes and mixed media. His methods and creative approach evolved from the classical to the digital media art. This cross-disciplinary research and methods allowed him to combine classical art techniques with new media and virtual technologies, exploring new art forms, that led to the birth of his constant morphing digital style.

„FF“ focuses on exploring the potentials of technologies, systems and methods of computer-vision. This is made possible by computing, data visualization, advanced digital media and technology combined with immersive Virtual Reality (VR), simulation and real-time interactive systems (RIS) providing context and possibilities for innovative approaches in the digital narrative and interactive storytelling realm. All that meets in his content development for the METAVERSE: 8K Immersive VR interactive applications and a 3D Digital Stereo Animations 3D-VR 360-degree Video, conceived for different type of viewing format/experiences, running on different platforms and display systems (Immersive virtual reality rooms, large scale multi viewer immersive spaces, visualization environment and VR HMD).

Mister Fischnaller is also author of „CITYCLUSTER - From the renaissance to the megabyte networking age: A virtual reality and high-speed networking project” (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Several of his creations are based on Italian Renaissance heritage (buildings, monuments, works of art, artifacts, and cities). Among which immersive gigapixel exhibits conceived for large scale multi viewer immersive spaces and immersive visualization display environments, showcasing scientific macro imaging, multi-spectral acquisition and digital reproduction in scale 8K up to 1.3 billion pixel resolution. Some of them have been developed in partnership with production houses, cutting edge laboratories, cultural institutions, computer scientists, engineers and industries.

His awarded works have been exhibited in numerous art-galleries in Europe and the US. The man, who speaks German, Italian, English and Spanish, accentuates: „The only drug that creates independence is culture!“

Franz Fischnaller, who currently is Professor at the Albertina Academy of fine Arts of Turin, lives in the capital city of the Piedmont (Italy).

Interview January 2023

Back into the future: from the digital Renaissance story telling to the immersive real time experience in the Metaverse


How does intuition present itself to you – in form of a suspicious impression, a spontaneous visualisation or whatever - maybe in dreams?

Intuition is present and it's presented in infinite modes, naturally not only to me! However, I often think that intuition has been knowledge. I like the “suspicious impression” of Spinoza. He considers "knowledge obtained by intuition (scientia intuitive) as the most powerful and most desirable kind of knowledge, and hence as superior to reason”.

Will any ideas be written down immediately and archived?

Why shall it be written and archived? Tesla did not think so... It seems that he hardly ever took notes or made blueprints of his experiments.. They argue that he was a synesthete.

?: How do you come up with good or extraordinary ideas?

There are many theories and vision on the matter. As for me I don’t really notice how and or if  this happens. Moreover, I don’t even know if I have actually come up with any good and much less extraordinary idea yet.

Are great ideas based on intuition and do they reveal themselves in a kind of clear as well complete version that just has to be realized? Or is it endless trials and errors (after the first spark) that result in constant developments up until the final result?

Well, perhaps, there is all this together and none. I am more for the  “The Big Crunch” hypothetical scenario for the ultimate "fate of the universe” which the expansion of the universe eventually reverses and the universe recollapses, ultimately causing the cosmic scale factor to reach zero, or what else?

What if there is a deadline, but no intuition? Does the first fuel the latter maybe?

For me deadline(s) are not neutralizer(s)... perhaps they are more like a good balsamic vinegar. Italian vinegar, of course.


What inspires you and how do you stimulate this special form of imaginativeness?

It is not clear if the act of inhaling can generate art. At the same time I am not so sure that imagination has any form. From another side the fluctuation of XYZ-coordinates intrinsically intersected during its motion can propably generate appealing sensations, form and even imagination.

How do you separate the good from the bad and which ideas are worthwhile to be explored further or whether one idea has the potential of being outstanding really?

Good and bad are more likely to be moral and subjective terms, correct? Good and bad in the Hindu/Oriental cosmology are different from the Christian/Occidental cosmology in and with the arts not sure how to define it.

Has it to appeal to you primarily or is its commercial potential an essential factor?

Good question to Leonardo Da Vinci. You might surprised and/or maybe upset by his non-answers.


Which time/place/environment suits your creative work process the best (tranquillity or pressure) and which path do you take from theory/idea to creation?

I don't really think that there is one place, format or automatization or even the suitability for a "creativity process or method. It's more akin to "to create or not" ... as per "to be or not to be”!

What is better in the realization process: speed and force creativity i.e. grasp the magic of the moment, or a slow, ripening process for implementation/elaboration?

Not sure if grasping magic of the “memento” is a process. Perhaps it's more like the Catatumbo lightning (ie.: Relámpago del Catatumbo). It is an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. Catatumbo means "House of Thunder" in the language of the Bari people. It originates from a mass of storm clouds at an altitude of more than 1 km (0.6 mi), and occurs for 140 to 160 nights a year, nine hours per day, and with lightning flashes from 16 to 40 times per minute.

If problems occur during creativity or one’s stuck even, how can these be solved?

Is the creativity getting stuck or is it us getting stuck? That is the dilemma.

How important are self-doubt and criticism (by others) during such a process i.e. is it better to be creative on your own, only trust your own instincts, or in a team? 

Self criticism is the MECCA of the criticism.

Should a creative always remain true to him-/herself including taking risks & going against the flow or must one, for reasons of (commercial) survival, make concessions to the demands of the market, the wishes of clients and the audience’s expectations?

That is the right question to pose to Francisco Goya.

How is innovation still possible if one has established a distinctive style and, just in case, is it good to be ahead of one’s time even one hazards not being understood?

Geniality has been always ahead of one’s time and is always majorly misunderstood. That is the "praxis in history": We need more Lorenzo De Medici(s)'s founding more Renaissances epochs and more Alexander(s) the Great, founding more Alexandria(s).

When does the time come to end the creative process, to be content and set the final result free - or is it work-in-progress with an endless possibility of improvement?

Maybe both and beyond plus let's don’t forget Einstein when he said: "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

In case of failure or - worse - a creativity crisis how do you get out of such a hole?

Failure is part of the fiction of Alice in the Wonderland. The crisis is pure creativity. If the hole is black you can never come out again, but before you need to enter.


Should/can one resist the temptation to recycle a ‘formula’ one’s successful with?

Recycling and re-using of the wastes play a significant role in sustainability.  As per "temptation" in the Western dictionary is defined and “unwise” however, look like that is exactly the opposite.

Is it desirable to create the ultimate/timeless work, but doesn’t “top of the ladder” bring up the question of “what’s next?” i.e. isn’t such a personal peak “the end”?

Ultimate? Timeless? End? Well, according to physicists, time is not real, it is just an illusion; there is no past, present or future, they all exist together. Then, and perhaps, if this is a fact, that everything happens at the same time, maybe we have confused a dream with life and or vice verse. However, that is not a problem, it is only a small error of interpretation.


I think, I have not done this sort of work yet.

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