Coral Morphologic, a group here in Miami, Florida composed of marine biologist Colin Foord and artist/musician Jared McKay, has a studio that faces a canal by the waterfront. Outside, amotorcade of fishing boats with hulls either sun-bleached or rusting were parked in the Seybold Canal while others drifted lazily toward Biscayne Bay.Inside they’ve grown over 3,000 coral colonies in seventeen huge tanks that collectively total about 2,500 gallons. The ripples of the water shimmer on the walls and the ambient lull of synthesizers pour out of a stereo’s speakers: it’s two-eyes-shut short of a dream.
Started in 2007, Coral Morphologic has been growing a diverse cast of anenomes, sea fans, zoanthids, stony and soft corals that they film for experimental visual art. The psychedelic fluorescence and baroque ornateness of the corals has been projected onto the sides of some of Miami’s tallest skyscrapers; they’ve shown their work at Art Basel Miami Beach, collaborated with Geologist of Animal Collective, and were part of Lynette Wallworth’s film Coral Rekindling Venus – an official selection for Sundance 2013. Unlike the majority of artists who claim the label “interdisciplinary”, they not only make killer art, they also contributing to a scientific understanding of South Florida’s unique urban ecology. They’ve discovered new species of coral while diving the Miami River and are working to get art-infused restoration projects up and running.