In our upcoming issue, we dive into the murky mouth of the Miami River with the enigmatic art/aquaculture duo Coral Morphologic. Based in Miami, the careers of Colin Foord and Jared McKay evade adequate description. As artists, musicians, cinematographers and biologists, the projects they have embarked on over the last decade have been far from traditional.
In their laboratory, pulsing ambient soundscapes resonate over the psychedelic glow of fluorescing coral, a vast contrast from the sterility one might expect from cutting edge marine biologists. Just as perplexing is the creation process behind their artworks. Baby coral polyps are nurtured in tanks, but their growth and spectacular neon display is all to the credit of mother nature. For 2009's Art Basel, hypnotic films of these corals in their supernatural splendour were projected onto skyscrapers of downtown Miami Beach. Coral Morphologic comments on human culture and our propensity to adapt with the challenges of the future, while equally provoking a sense of wonder about what further mysteries could lie in the ebb and flow deep beneath the waves with which we thought we were familiar.
Mostly built at sea level, Miami faces the onslaught of rising oceans like no other metropolis. Elizabeth Kolbert of The New Yorker recently explained the urgency of the situation in South Florida. While the Netherlands, for example, have successfully evaded deluge in their low-lying areas with protective systems of dykes, Florida rises on a foundation of limestone, a porous rock through which seawater unimpededly seeps. Even the concrete that makes up the skyscrapers of Miami Beach comes from limestone, the ancient remains of coral reefs that thrived long before humanity.
Despite the anthropogenic pressures of pollution and warming which threaten coral species, as sea levels rise humans will be forced into retreat as our concrete infrastructure, our skyscrapers and our cities slowly sink beneath the waves. Foord and McKay, through their work, comment on the bittersweet irony that thanks to us, these alien, radially symmetrical creatures will once again be free to claim their home on the Florida peninsula.
Register to go deeper into Coral Morphologic's world in Issue 0 0 1 : Arcadia