An extraterrestrial collaboration with Joshua Davis and KØWCH for Medleys.art that combines generative art with physical textures to creating moving landscapes and stills driven and augmented by audio.
Generative Art has become ever so fashionable in the NFT space but one of the limitations of on-chain generative art is file-size and storage: in general, an excellent limitation to employ, but we wanted to create something slightly more dynamic and that harkened back to Josh’s and Jana’s first collaboration.
Introducing the combination of textures and music with audio-reactive code has allowed us to create an entirely new world, that just so happens to be in the deepest of space.
These textures come from my macro-cosmos: working with documentation rather than active-by-hand creation, I photograph chemical reactions happening in various places. One composite includes over a dozen photos of frozen vegetables stitched together, another a canvas filled with cooled embers. Using things like burnt wood, bleach, floor polish, paint and alcohol I attempt to distance my eye and understanding from what we know as everyday objects, into something much more alien and otherworldly.
The audio is KØWCH's take on "the journey". On a personal level, the music hearkens back to the sounds and techniques that moved him to begin crate digging and making his first rudimentary compositions using programs that almost always came free with a magazine. Now using a hybrid of analog and digital equipment, the syncopated jungle-inspired beats and (possibly) calmer moments aim to convey the uncertainty and rapture of post-terrestrial travel.
Joshua Davis has been creating his own world: over 9000 lines of code written over a decade. A beautiful animal in and of itself, when applied to The Journey to Europa, he fine-tunes the code to audio-react via his own analogue system. Sending music through his controller, he is able to manipulate frequencies to trigger shapes, waves, and patterns, in synchronicity with the textures above:
The mechanics of our collection release were a bit more peculiar than others you may have seen in that they require you to own a Hash. A hash is essentially your unique fingerprint. During minting (while your Hash is in your wallet) this fingerprint is read by Joshua’s code and its particular patterns directly affect the traits in the final NFT. This means your newly minted art-piece will forever have your imprint on it, regardless of the hands it exchanges. In a sense, one could say you become part of the art itself, affecting the color story and certain trait attributes.
About the Artists
Joshua Davis (Praystation)
Joshua Davis is an OG generative artist, designer, technologist, and author. His work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, the Whitney, and the Cooper Hewitt and has collaborated with legend like DeadMau5, Phantogram, and Tool. Unsurprisingly, he’s been a trailblazer in the NFT space, making the rounds from Art Blocks all the way to being featured at Christie’s and Beeple’s personal collection.
Joshua has devoted his entire career to making the tools and knowledge to make digital art accessible: hosting one of the largest design forums of the 90s (yes, the 90s) he created a world where he and others met, played, crafted and went on to form their own companies. He taught classes, share his source code and generally made it a goal to lift all creators he interacted with. It would be no exaggeration to say that likely every digital artist has at some point learned something from Joshua Davis, whether the realized it or not.
Jana Stýblová is a multi-disciplinary artist, and has been creating works across a plethora of media since 2006, at that time most known for fractal art created using Apophysis.
In 2013, she created the original minimalist-focused Tumblr blog Often Minimal that went on to inspire countless minimal design projects of their own, as well as companies and even prominent tattoo artists’ careers.
Some may say Jana has taken a path of chaos—she holds degrees in astrophysics and art, and a 10 year career in the design industry—but the truth is that she has always shunned the constraints of being only one thing. This is reflected in her relentless pursuit of mixed-discipline creation and expression: deft with acrylic on canvas, photography, performance, music and various forms of digital witchcraft.
She revels in experimentation, and now brings her science, art and design backgrounds into focus, this time by creating landscapes and inner worlds using canvas, concrete and chemicals (and petri-dishes).
KØWCH is the moniker of music-maker Steven K. H. His journey has seen him in early online collaborative music projects using 90s peer-to-peer platform Audiogalaxy, fronting lo-fi rock bands, hosting underground shows, and releasing work between stints as a lawyer, a bar tender and software engineer.
KØWCH is most content blending together key influences of dub / bass music, post-punk and experimental electronica, and has a penchant for the cheeky and slightly deranged—the dark and the playful. He has spent the last few years collaborating on a collection of new music with long-time creative partner Jana Stýblová, which will air later in 2022.
A producer, engineer and, in this case, breakbeat choreographer, KØWCH brings us all of the sounds that makes The Journey to Europa move, live, and breathe.