Manifesto of Happiness


December 2021
limited edition print

Available after 10 December at the following locations:
Sarieva, Plovdiv
Goethe Institute and the galleries Arosita, Credo Bonum and Structura, Sofia
Free distribution

Manifesto of Happiness, 2021 by ULTRAFUTURO was published in December 2021 by Open Arts Foundation as a part of the last Phase VI of the multi­genre visual art situation Future Unforgettable, curated by Vesselina Sarieva.

1. Happiness is a moment in life that is not burdened by any negatives. The New Happy Art must immerse the viewer in the most positive state of mind possible with the help of all possible audiovisual means.

2. The memory about evil must exist so that it does not happen again. But the New Happy Art aims to create another, parallel space in which negativism, hatred, racism, gender inequality and hatred, class or species superiority, and superiority of any kind and over anything, are excluded as concepts and to mention them is prohibited. Here, differences embrace each other and are not a reason for creation of hierarchies.  Hierarchies of any kind are forbidden because they cause unhappiness. The territory of the Art of Happiness must be free from the idea of ​​superiority.

3. Why is the world cruel, unjust and full of violence and abomination? Most likely because this is how the perverted human being understands happiness. Happiness is understood as superiority. It seems that the works of art that speak of inequality are just another pleasure to many people and are themselves a memory of the perverted oppressor and the executioner.  The executioner-sublimators do not indulge in their desire to kill only because they fear the persecution by the law. They find “joy and happiness” in the pictures of torture, even in the ones that are describing historical events. Therefore, these perverted people must be deprived of the object of their lust, and so the world will change.

4. Our inspiration for the Art of Happiness comes from observing the development of children in societies with systemic racism. They quite often grow up in a diverse environment in friendship with a variety of children – members of different classes, races and genders. Stories of racism, gender discrimination, poverty and national inequalities, as well as violence against animals, even if they are designed to teach children anti-discrimination, are completely incomprehensible to them until they see a living example of discrimination or hierarchical relationships that they can suffer or benefit from. In fact differences provoke curiosity and admiration before they are perceived as privileges or negatives that children with different gender and race can take advantage of.

5. Horrors, violence, predation and murder of all kinds must be removed from the narratives told by the Art of Happiness. The story to be told is only the story of creation, the story of friendship and of love in search of forms of beauty and harmony with anyone and everything.

6. Why is The Art of Happiness not bourgeois? Because it should not be elitist, neither in commercial nor in any other way and should not encourage hierarchies.

7. We declare all melancholy, sadness and negativism to be agents of death and chaos, and therefore they must be completely eradicated from the territory of the Art of Happiness.

8. All signs of remembrance, monuments, cemeteries and other artifacts reminiscent of death and suffering must be removed from the Art of Happiness. Any negative culture must be completely erased from the vocabulary of the Art of Happiness as harmful, dangerous and misanthropic.

9. It is not necessary for the Art of Happiness to engage specifically with any ideology, as it carries the ideology of non-hierarchy and equality in itself, but should focus exclusively on creating maximum physiological comfort in the viewer.

10. Happiness is not associated with wealth, as is commonly believed as a result of bourgeois brainwashing. In fact, the rich and the super-rich, having everything, get satisfaction from the super-profit, which is meaningless from the point of view of happiness, because this super-profit is not a facilitated to achieve the goals of happiness, but a goal in itself.

11. There are examples of Happy Art in the past. They are often produced by artists who themselves suffer discrimination or unhappiness. For example, Boris Kustodiev, who has been paralyzed for years, paints scenes of merriment and tea drinking filled with cheerful people. Zinaida Serebryakova’s paintings are also works of happiness, as well as some works by Tekla Aleksieva, Nadezhda Kuteva, Vera Nedkova and others. Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is a new example of rewriting a sinister plot. We see pictures of happiness in anti-racist art and art criticizing discrimination by creating scenes and stories in which it does not exist (In the Port, 1975). Scenes that show suffering, even though they criticize discrimination and have the same goals like The Art of Happiness, and we as ULTRAFUTURO are creating them ourselves, are not The Art of Happiness.

12. The idea of ​​the memory of catastrophes and genocides often idealizes both the victims and, unfortunately, their executioners. The complete absence of such a memory would make the new world a little clearer of horrors and negativity. But as far as this full exclusion of these topics is impossible, we will apply this idea primarily in the territory of The Art of Happiness.


Boryana Rossa shares the following about the work:

The text “Manifesto of Happiness” came about after conversations about the meaning of life, its brevity and the importance of art. The manifesto is undoubtedly inspired by our stay in Balchik this year (2021), by the sun, the sea, the beautiful birds flying outside the window, in contrast to the typically gloomy TV news on Bulgarian television, in addition to the catastrophic situation in the world during the second year of the pandemic.
The sense of being on the tiny island of an earthly paradise, isolated from the horrors of the collapsing world order and the vile anti-human race between the various vaccines etc. We felt like creating a comfort zone, at least in the territory of art. An outlet, a place where we could relax, catch our breath after the lockdowns, the deaths and the absolute uncertainty of the future.
It seems to us that what is really important right now is to find a way to confront the total nightmare of this world, to find a remedy for depression and despair. But it should be noted that, right at the very beginning of the pandemic, we had ideas of a ‘magic’ solution to the problems associated with this situation. Partly, the realization of these thoughts had a place in the interactive ZOOM performance “Anti-coronavirus Vaccination Dome” 2020 with the participation of artists such as Selma Selman, Peter Lee, Voin de Voin, Yasen Zgurowski, Patrick Boehmke, Alexandra Kulik, Shuang Liu, Antonia Pashova and Martina Stefanova.
In the performance each participant had to invent a “magical” cure-performance against COVID-19. It should be noted that the performance itself, which took place about six months before the first vaccine appeared, referred to the strange behavior of some well-known artists in this situation, namely Elena Kovylina, who claimed to possess a magic technology that prevented the disease. It was a special device that she wore constantly.
At first we thought it was crazy, but then we decided that such a belief in something strange, in something like a techno-Placebo was not without meaning and could even save believers from contagion by mobilizing the powers of the body. These of course were our thoughts during the uncertainty and chaos before the development of vaccines.
Then it suddenly became obvious to us that even a strange tool like this pseudo-device gives one hope and we simply have no right to criticize anyone for that.  In the end, everybody lives as long as they can. Later, unfortunately, it turned out that the people who adhered to this new strategy were by no means so innocent because they joined the army of anti-vaxxers. So on the basis of all this the manifesto emerged as a means of breaking the grim deadlock.
Later on, now in 2021, we started to think about what this territory of art could be so it would separate us from the gloom, what are the artistic problems which this art possesses, and how this whole idea relates to the broader context of happiness beyond the specifics of the pandemic. We have described these problems of art in the manifesto itself. The manifesto is also a logical extension of all the other manifestos we have written relating to equality and anti-discrimination. It is indirectly linked to technology, if we think of it as a method, ‘magic’ or even rituals, and not so much as technical inventions. Rather, perhaps, the manifesto reveals an aspect of our thoughts and work that is not visible enough in our previous works and reflects our love of art that speaks of friendship and kindness, through images of sympathetic and kind objects and characters. In the illustrations we have included images from childhood favourite films and artists which have inspired, soothed and created a sense of comfort and happiness in our early childhood, when we felt as lost and scared, as we did in the moments of chaos and uncertainty in adolescence or more mature ages.

Manifesto of Happiness, 2021
six variations
34 x 48 cm
digital print
limited edition of 300 
Published by Open Arts Foundation, Plovdiv 

Boryana Rossa and ULTRAFUTURO, Illustrations for the Manifesto of Happiness. (Conceptually developed in collaboration with Oleg Mavromatti), 2021
Inspiration from the works by Tekla Aleksieva, Alexander Deineka, Daniela Kostova, Nadezhda Kuteva, Boris Kustodiev, Zinaida Serebryakova, a frame from the animated film “In the Port” 1975 and the Internet memes: Nyan Cat, Egg Dog, Chomik, Pucheen, and the piglet Yehzu.

More about the sixth phase of Future Unforgettable can be found here

The archive of Future Unforgettable is available at Instagram and the YouTube channel of Open Arts Foundation.

Оrganizer: Open Arts Foundation and Sarieva
In 2021, the project is being implemented with the financial assistance of the Support Programme for Professional Art Organizations of National Culture Fund.

The title Future Unforgettable is inspired by the drawing from Krassimir Terziev’s art project “Future Unforgettable”, 2018, marker on paper, 28 x 35.5 cm., personal collection.
The name of the sixth phase of Future Unforgettable is inspired by Rada Boukova’s work “The Sky is a Color”, 2014.