Bulgarian National Radio © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Irina Ivanov - IrrA and “The Happiness Machine”

How do you think “a happiness machine" could exist? Although it might sound as a utopia, such a machine could actually exist in the human consciousness, as long as we believe that we could be masters of our time and express our innermost desires without being blamed for this. It is this moment of absolute freedom that is the "fuel" needed to make the machine work.

With her photographic exhibition entitled "The Happiness Machine", visual artist Irina Ivanov - IrrA, shows the audience that this extraordinary moment could be captured, and she did it 35 times. This is the number of photos arranged in the cozy "KO-OP” art space in Sofia from January 9 to January 12. The footage was captured during the last year's edition of the Burning Man Festival, which brings together artists of all genres, as well as audience from around the world. For a few days every year, the desert space in the US state of Nevada becomes a protected area where freedom and creativity are in total harmony with each other. Somewhere between 70,000 and 80,000 is the maximum number of people who can visit the event, Irina says and adds:

The artists taking part in the festival are different every year, and there is always a Bulgarian group and a camp in the audience, where all the other Bulgarians are welcome, because you are in the middle of nowhere and only have what you brought with you.

In 2018, Irina’s partner was one of the lucky ones who ended up at the festival thanks to a ticket raffle. A year later she also became part of the artistic euphoria in the desert:

I can say that this experience, from my Bulgarian point of view, was quite scary. This motivated me to shoot the festival and thus show the true Burning Man beyond anything we imagine when hearing about this experience. When you ask someone about how one could prepare or what to expect, people usually tell you that you would find out when you go there.

One of the things that impressed her during last year's edition was the lack of any aggression or conflict between people and the willingness of everyone to show their best sides and qualities.

In addition to being a photographer, the Bulgarian is a director who fulfilled her dream of having her own production house in Los Angeles, where she has been living. She most often shoots ads and music videos. According to Irina, competition in the U.S. is fierce but rather constructive, which motivates her to move forward.

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: Irina Ivanov – IrrA


More from category

Vassilen Vasevski, the artist who paints light

An artist is taking a spiritual journey back to the country of his birth with the help of his own experience and the memories he commits to the canvas. But the passage of time has poured oil on troubled waters and the images have receded..

published on 1/22/20 3:35 PM

Mincho Katsarov, the artist celebrated in Paris but virtually unknown in Bulgaria

In 1891 a fourth child was born to the family of Todor Katsarya from Brezovo – Mincho. The child was born with an underdeveloped right hand but was to pick up the paintbrush with his left hand because he was ordained to be an artist..

updated on 1/21/20 4:35 PM

Sofia City Library commemorates Geo Milev with a special exhibition

The Sofia City Library is marking 125 years since the birth of Geo Milev with a special exhibition.  Geo Milev was a poet, translator, literary and theatre critic, theatre director and journalist, all of which required a great deal of dedication and..

published on 1/19/20 9:15 AM