Coral Morphologic aren't your typical multimedia artists-cum-filmmakers-cum-musicians-cum-marine biologists. In fact, the Miami-based hybrid bio-design and conservation agency, created by University of Miami grads Colin Foord and Jared McKay, is probably the least conventional artistic agency this side of the Gulf Stream. How did the duo graduate from aquatically-minded alumni to globe-trotting bio-artists, filmmakers, and world-class coral saviors? The answer comes down to years of specialization in one niche underwater science: aquaculture.
We could tell you about how the duo own and operate Miami's premiere multimedia lab for coral farming, home to hundreds of rare, fluorescent, and color-changing corals and creepy-crawlers from the coastline, or about how Foord and McKay are in the throes of an emergency search-and-rescue mission to save hundreds of coral colonies from FL governor Rick Scott's disastrous dredging plan.
We could tell you that on March 6, 2014, Coral Morphologic is releasing a fully remixed and remastered video on Vimeo On Demand that datamoshes twenty-three of the duo's original natural history films, spanning the seven year entirety of Coral Morphologic's history, into one epic half-hour undersea odyssey. We could even show you the trailer:
But seeing as I'm still stuck zoning out into the jaw-dropping Coral Morphologic website, I'll let Animal Collective do the talking.
From Brian Weitz, A.K.A. Geologist:
Animal Collective first met Coral Morphologic in 2010 when we screened Oddsac in Miami and came away with a DVD of their early films. As someone with an interest and background in both science and art, their work immediate spoke to me. On Animal Collective albums I often turn to the natural sciences for inspiration and source material, however the relationship between science and art in my work is rarely symbiotic. The science informs the art, but there’s no return trip. What Coral Morphologic creates exists in both realms. Symbiosis is inherent in their work. They are a modern day Jean Painleve—using living organisms they cultivate in their lab as the source for their art, while simultaneously creating an interest in those creatures outside of that context.
And these films only scratch the surface of their deep interests in the symbiotic relationship between coral reef ecosystems and urban human environments. In their current home of Miami, a city built on the ghosts of ancient coral reefs ,and traditionally thought to be a perfect case study in coastal habitat degradation, Coral Morphologic have documented new species of coral evolving to thrive in these polluted urban waterways. Where others see the loss of an all too temporary present, they see evolution and look ahead with an open mind to a new equilibrium. They’ve inspired me to look ahead with them.
We'll have a debut of "Natural History Redux" in the coming days. Until then, whet your appetites (pun definitely not intended) on these sumptuous hi-res photos of Coral Morphologic's colorful corals, and the slimy, adorable critters that love living in and around 'em.
Check out our behind the scenes documentary on the art of Animal Collective, as well as the making of their film, ODDSAC, and stay tuned to this Vimeo On Demand link, which goes live when "Natural History Redux" becomes available for purchase this Thursday. Again, all proceeds go towards the rescue of urban corals.