made by bronwyn

Collaborative Art Project: the Butterfly Effect

The name is sort of low-hanging fruit, no?

I was asked to run an art project for my company’s corporate retreat (read: debauched psycho reunion, very fun). The idea was that it could be collaboratively done by a steady stream of distractible people, some who would like to contribute but not be tied down in case the bar opened.

I searched around for such a project and found a good one for “older primary children.” That roughly equals drunk adults. It’s worth it to mentioning the beautiful art it’s based on, Will and Caro.

But we needed a test first. So my roommate and I did some planning and dragged our idea to the park.

Alice struggles

Above, Alice struggled with the supplies, and we set up the instructions for passersby. We were testing how hands off we could be.


The children help out

Mostly parents with children came by, as they were glad for the distraction. Everyone else thought we wanted money so avoided us at all cost. It became clear very quickly that people needed a lot of origami help, and then could place the butterflies on their own.

There wasn’t enough time to finish the test, but it was everything I needed to know. I was ready to do my favorite thing–painting huge canvases in a hotel room.


It worked! Everyone who participated felt like they had done something significant, even if they only made one butterfly. And now it’s hanging up in Atlanta, looking fresh.

photo 3 (2) photo 2 (2)