This story is over 5 years old.

Coral City: The Technicolor Lifeforms Invading Miami's Urban Waterways

... with a bit of assistance from climate change.

​Coral Morphologic doesn't so much create art as find it—or at least something in between the two. The duo of marine biologist Colin Foord and musician Jared McKay, CM documents the vibrant coral structures busily invading Miami's urban waterways, "colonizing man­made infrastructure, artificial reefs, and human debris," in their words. The art comes in morphing the cityscape of Miami itself with these (in some cases) new-to-science, highly-resilient corals that are nonetheless in imminent danger of being dredged and blasted away to make way for "post-Panamax" megaships.


Coral City, documented here by Motherboard's sister site the Creators Project, is Coral Morphologic's project of "mythologizing" the city's corals via transplantation, aquaculture, research, and relentless documentation. Aquatic industrialization or no, these things are the climate change future as Gulf waters warm and rise, offering entirely new territory in the slowly drowning city itself: the future's ultimate reef habitat.

It's not that easy, of course. Global warming is, meanwhile, scraping the deeper sea clean of its coral inhabitants, even as corals drift into urban waters. It's mostly an environment in flux, a confusion of underwater order demanding documentation.