Borislav Ignatov, an architect and project coordinator for ‘The Mirror Culture’ asked the people in Bulgaria to donate any CDs that they had laying around. The people obliged and now Ignatov has 6000 CDs and his ambitious idea. “I liked a lot that they were salvaged,” he said, “and that they contained tons of data that seemed important to their owners once. As [a] result the Mirror Culture became a literal reflection and recording of our time.”
Mirror Culture was a clever community designed project set up at the entrance of the Sea Garden public park in Varna, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea. It took 28 volunteers to attach 6,000 used CDs to a giant custom knitted fishing net stretched between pillars at the entrance and then hoisted in the air and secured by cables. What really made this creation stand out was that the CD banner created a glinting rainbow effect as the wind blew and light hit, changing its effect from glaring to glowing as day turned to night.“It was my fascination with the play of light on fish scales and on liquid surfaces that made me think of a flexible mirror,” Borislav Ignatov wrote in an email. “I realized that the optical discs use the same principles of refraction and separation of light as fish scales and I decided to use them for the purpose.”
Mirror Culture was part of the city’s bid for European Capital of Culture in 2019 and was visited by around 50,000 people. Varna did pass the first selection stage from eight candidates and according to Ignatov “the jury of The European Capital of Culture noted the project as a great example in engaging the community and recommended to [the] City of Varna to work in that direction if they want to win the bid,” Also, the city of Varna provided the project with a grant that covered expenses for making the custom netting and for ropes, hardware, and other materials whereas the discs and labour were made possible because of the volunteers. Once the project was dismantled 500 CD’s were made into signed souvenirs. “The rest were kept in storage for the next summer when we plan to re-install them in a different way,” Ignatov said.