Edge of Chaos

Drew Harkey

Drew Harkey is a digital media artist based in Florida. Edge of Chaos is a digital media art project of music, imagery, and color. In-flight Music to Alpha Centauri is a musical expedition into the metaphorical realm of quantum strings. Luminous Aether is a digital art collection of aleatoric abstractions. His photography project, Artistic Nature, explores patterns and coincidental semantics found in nature.

Edge of Chaos collectively explores themes of science, psychology and philosophy.

Drew Harkey
Image of Drew Harkey



The imagery in this digital media project is organized into three presentational galleries: nature photography, digital art and a personal photo album of photographs from my private collection.

Nature Photography

The photo essay of nature photography called Artistic Nature is a collection of photographs taken outdoors, in nature and wild places, where the peculiarity of geometrical and organized natural structures lends an impression of nature as artist. Nature is ever changing. Never more so than today. Many of the photographs in this photo essay preserves not only a sublime moment in the woods, but also serve as a voice for those same wild places that no longer exist.

Digital Art

The second portfolio is a digital art collection called Luminous Aether. Luminous Aether is a portfolio of digital art images and fractal designs. Some are abstract images of lightbeams and some are fractal art works, or digital art created with the assistance of mathematical algorithms. Fractal art, also known as electronic art, is computer-assisted art, and the works in this collection are created by a real human artist using a computer program the creates flame fractals. The resulting digital paintings (or cybernetic art works, as some call it) resemble ethereal digital landscapes that I like to think analogize the concepts of the quantum and imaginal realm.

Photo Album

The third and final art gallery in the imagery section of the digital media project is more of an accidental art work. Using photographs from my personal photo album, Upon Further Reflection, in the photo gallery I explore scientific, psychological and philosophical concepts reflected in the various photographs I have in my personal album. It is interesting how the reality we perceive depends on how we observe it — and how structure of the world “out there” — as it is reflected back at us through the interpretive functions of our consciousness — may be only an allegory of the strange loops, recursions and self-mirroring that underly it all.


In the world of psychoacoustics, gradience is where emotion is most heightened: in the tension between parts of the brain involved in processing music that are otherwise used for other functions. To further my understanding of gradience, I studied the properties of color — to help me visualize the concept of wavelengths as tone.

Color Pigments

Several exercises in the area of color were conducted. In the first, I examined color pigments. I painted a series of color swatches with Lascaux Sirius Acryl acrylic paint to determine all the color hues in between the primaries. The primary colors are obtained through the pigments of arylide, phthalocyanine, quinacridone, naphthol, and lapis lazuli.

Acrylic Paints

In researching the properties of acrylic paint pigments, I found that the various pigments used by acrylic paint manufacturers differ by quality and chemistry, and some pigments are better than others. So I created a chart that aggregates current pigment research with common acrylic paint ingredients to determine a brand’s relationship to pigment quality. Within that research, I discovered an independent acrylic brand, Nova Color.


Then as I went along in my pigment and paint research, I encountered the phenomenon of magenta. The color magenta is even not on the visible light spectrum — our brain is truly just making things up.

Color Wheel

But once you get past the weirdness of magenta, and accept its role in the visible light spectrum, you can use the color magenta for practical applications. For example, traditional artist’s color wheel, with primary colors of red, blue and yellow (RBY), simply does not work when you understand of the role of the extra-spectral color magenta. Therefore, the CMY/RGB color wheel, which combines primaries from the additive and subtractive color gamut, represents a more accurate interpretation of visual color. This new color wheel more closely aligns with the CMYK printing process that modern color processing employs.

In the end, though, pigment is not light itself, even though green is a primary on the color wheel of transmissive light, green is not a primary mixing color in the reflective light arena — it is instead a byproduct of mixing two more primary pigments. Nevertheless, color pigment mixing and the concepts of magenta color wheels serves as an analogue of the whole wave/particle duality, and the difference between the material and the perceptual.