Less than a year before recording Data Lords, I found myself spellbound standing in front of a wonderful painting called "Midwestern Heart" by Windom, MN artist, Aaron Horkey. I was visiting my hometown, and the work was hung in our hometown Cottonwood County Historical Society. Instantly, I set my heart on the big hopes that Aaron would agree to do the artwork for Data Lords. Aaron's artwork draws heavily from images of the same prairie that I share a love for, with a sort-of apocalyptic edge that really speaks to me and felt perfect for this project. His work is spectacularly detailed, evocative and downright magical.
I was a little nervous to call Aaron, feeling so instantly star-struck. Aaron is quite a bit younger than I am, so our paths had never crossed, even though we’re both from Windom. When Windom's historical society put me in touch, Aaron couldn’t have been nicer, agreeing to do the project. As I explained the Data Lords project, he started thinking about images from home that we both share and that would at the same time, express the duality of the digital and natural world. He pretty quickly set his focus on the "cottonwood" leaf, the most iconic tree in Windom (our town being in "Cottonwood County," Minnesota). I was immediately over-the-moon excited, as sounds of a cottonwood rustling in the wind always transport me home, as does the sight of those shiny leaves quivering on their long stems. Aaron would continue to delight me no end as he created the bluebird for the CD package trifold, along with all of the other images he created. His cottonwood leaf image encapsulated everything this music was expressing.
Now, Aaron has generously signed and numbered a limited edition 100-print run of the leaf with circuitry. It is printed with Aaron's assistance at a standard 18” X 24” size by Dan Black at Landland (Saint Paul) on 110# Crane's Lettra, a 100% cotton stock. They were screen-printed as a six-color print (yellow, magenta, cyan, light black, opaque black, and metallic gold). Aaron redrew the circuitry specifically for this print, as it was of course sized much larger than the CD.
These prints do not say Data Lords on them. The leaf says it all.