Electric Butterflies Art Installation – Photos: Shiro Oni

Now fully set up inside Kotoriya Studio, Electric Butterflies at Shiro Oni in Gunma, Japan, had its debut during Onishi’s summer festival called Natsu Matsuri.

Created during my artist residency here, Electric Butterflies is an art installation exploring the demise & disposal of the electronic personality. It is a technological reclamation art installation project combining metals and fibers.

What happens when our computer dies? What happens to the electronic personality upon our death?

Providing an explosive view of a laptop at the moment of its death, Electric Butterflies, demonstrates the release of the electronic personality within through the hand-crocheted neon yarn butterfly motifs and supportive wire crochet elements.

As small electronics continue to be pervasive in our society, society also has a need to address the demise and the disposal of our electronic personality and its toxic body, a laptop in this case, the same as we carefully handle the death of a loved one.


Night time at Kotoriya Studio as the Summer Festival parade thunders by to the beat of the taiko drums.

Thank You very much to my photographer friends who have been able to capture my Electric Butterflies so much better than I. These photos belong to them.


Electric Butterflies fills a space measuring 250cm x 350cm (approx 8 feet x 11.5 feet) Despite its size it is lightweight. Consisting of the laptop pieces and the aluminum framing which are the heaviest items, it is easy to maneuver, transport, and hang.

A flock of neon butterflies carries away the dying electronic personality and parts of its computer body.



A flock of neon butterflies carries away the dying electronic personality and parts of its computer body.

For another perspective, check out my short YouTube video for a 360degree view of Electric Butterflies.


Neon yellow yarn with sparkly blue embroidery floss create the butterfly wing motif developing as it flows away from the initial point of its death:


Orange neon yarn wing motif with the black doily covered battery shrouded in a hand crocheted black doily.

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Developing butterfly wing motif emerge from the various parts, here it is a misc computer wire covered in bright, glowing, neon orange yarn.


Keyboard detail, the underside seen here, as the butterflies have burst forth from this point carrying various keys from the keyboard. Laptop Cover is also blown away to the opposite site of the installation.


This butterfly wing motif is created using both wire crochet and fiber techniques.

Inspired by the exploded parts instruction charts, this installation helped me let go of the laptop I had spent so many hours creating projects, connecting with friends, and learning with.

Thank you for touring Electric Butterflies and I am curious what has happened to the electronic personality within your own dead phones and laptops? Please sign up for Studio News! to see more art adventures and sneak peeks into my studio life.

Published by Studio Deanna

Metals + Fibers + Writing