Part I of Coral City, The Creators Project's new documentary on Coral Morphologic, directed by John McSwain
I met Coral Morphologic a little over a year ago through Instagram. A mutual friend connected us and I was instantly in love with their photos and videos—these tiny macro worlds of glowing neon corals, fish, crabs, all sorts of visual stimuli—they were creating psychedelic miniature underwater tableaus that were hypnotizing beyond belief. I sent their site to Rocco [Castoro, Vice Magazine editor in chief], suggesting that I write a piece on them and he quickly called me up excited, nearly giggling watching their videos saying “the tiny little crab, look at that guy!”
A few weeks later I was in Miami, hanging out with Colin Foord and Jared McKay eating fish sandwiches at a seafood restaurant on the Miami River, not far from their lab, and our conversation was rapidly veering through an array of topics from the atomic bomb to acid to Miami booty bass to Buckminster Fuller and it became immediately apparent that this story required a video component. In the months leading up to filming they became more vocal, politically, about the plight of the coral in Miami’s waters. They successfully helped bring an end to David Beckham’s proposal to fill the former port of Miami’s waters with concrete to build a soccer stadium and became entangled with the government (at all levels) in an effort to rescue corals that were set to be destroyed by the Army Corp of Engineers’ dredging project.
Images courtesy of Coral Morphologic
Their narrative quickly shifted from artists to activists and their story continues to span across both, freely. Their art and their actions work in tandem, they are two parts of a multi-faceted campaign to study, revive, defend, document, catalog, and preserve Miami’s native corals. At the same time new reports were being released indicating that what we know about climate change and sea level rise may not have been the whole story.
Colin Foord and Jared McKay of Coral Morphologic
While a large portion of the population still debates whether climate change is real, let alone what’s causing it, Miami’s waters continue to rise, flooding many parts of South Beach regularly. Coral City is the story of a city facing impending catastrophe and how Coral Morphologic await a new Atlantis.
Inside the Coral Morphologic lab
The written portion of this piece, Miami is Drowning and the Corals Couldn’t be Happier, was Vice’s cover story in September, available HERE.