Swarm the World is an idea I had after working with my magnetic cyanotype butterflies for a few years. The magnetic butterflies can alight on fences, garage doors, electrical boxes and any other iron, steel or tin surface. I used them to highlight overlooked objects or just bring beauty into a landscape dominated by metal. I only install them for a few minuted in each location, and they live on through the photos I take.
After taking a few hundred butterflies on a vacation to Istanbul, Turkey I finally worked out the logistics to open the project up to collaborators around the world.
I started by designing a website, putting out a call for participants, promoting it like crazy, then sorting and organizing the proposals by geographic region, selecting those who seemed most committed to the project and assembling all the information required to connect all these strangers with my and my butterflies by email and snail mail. This epic global street art project is something that I have been coordinating since 2014 and it is finally coming to a close. In the end, Swarm the world connected a network of 180 collaborators in 45 different countries on all seven continents who each installed and photographed 300 magnetic cyanotype butterflies in their local environments. Sometimes they bring momentary beauty to overlooked metal spaces and objects in urban areas and sometimes they highlight human intervention in rural areas.
You can see all the participants photos on our blog:
I am currently in the process of organizing all the photos submitted to me and beginning to lay out a 250 page book which I plan to self-publish this fall.