Meet the project behind acid-tripping coral reefs: Coral Morphologic

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Coral reefs are dying now. This is not a future worst-case scenario, unfortunately it is our current reality. If you’ve had the luck of snorkelling or diving with healthy coral you will know first hand why losing these magical creatures is a catastrophe. Their magnificence underwater is unparalleled, creating playgrounds of colour, texture, wildlife and variety.

Coral Morphologic

Coral Morphologic founders: JD Mckay (left) and Colin Foord (right)

Bringing to the forefront the unappreciated world of corals is Coral Morphologic. An innovative underwater media with a mission to showcase the beauty of corals by blending science and art. Their method is unique, through aquaculture and high-tech cameras, fluorescent lighting and video editing they film local Miami coral growing in aquaculture lab and create mesmerising artworks. Usually in the form of short videos where coral movements are sped up for the viewer to enjoy.

Nemo: Coral Restoration Project underway with monitoring platform

Based in Miami their main mission is to draw attention to the stark parallels between Miami’s urban city and its neighbouring coral reefs, parts of which were actually used to lay the foundations Colin Foord explains:

Coral Morphologic

Ornate Ghost Pipefish by Coral Morphologic

“Coral keystone mined from the Florida Keys was used all over Miami—much of the city is made from marine calcium carbonate, some of which is the coral skeletons themselves. That is the baseline of our metaphors: the similarities between the city being like a coral reef and the coral reef being like a city. A reef is a 3-D ecosystem that is urban life on top of urban life; it’s fast and colorful and full of diversity.”

In 2017 they displayed their work at the Frank Gehry New World Center during art basel, for the first time corals had the world of art’s attention.

Nonetheless, Coral Morphologic aren’t solely interested in corals’ aesthetic value, they are currently working with NOAA and the University of Miami to study Miami’s “urban coral” to understand whether the resiliency of these species can be understood and replicated in other more fragile coral as well.

“Corals are the first architects on planet earth and the only organism besides humans to create things you can see from space.”—Colin Foord

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