Coral City Camera

photograph of underwater scene with coral rock and tropical fish photograph of underwater scene with coral rock and tropical fish

Presented at the Lowe Art Museum November 1 - June 12, 2022

Coral City Camera is a multimedia artwork and (click here for live stream) research tool by artist-scientist duo Coral Morphologic and presented by Bas Fisher Invitational (BFI) and Bridge Initiative. Submerged alongside PortMiami, the Coral City Camera reveals the surprising diversity of pioneering coral reef organisms that call Miami home. Coral Morphologic is studying these populations in conjunction with NOAA and the University of Miami to better understand their apparent resistance to disease, siltation from dredging, and pollution as compared to offshore natural reefs. At the project’s center is a 360-degree underwater live streaming camera that transmits real-time images of an urban coral reef community to public spaces, to scientists via the Internet, and into school classrooms through partnerships with the Everglades Foundation. In the time since the live stream launched in February 2020, the Coral City Camera has recorded over 170 species of fish and has enabled unprecedented research opportunities to continuously monitor and observe one of these coral communities in a manner that generates civic pride through biodiversity.

Coral Morphologic is an art-science duo formed by marine biologist Colin Foord (‘04, University of Miami, Bachelor of Science) and musician J.D. McKay in 2007 in Miami. Coral Morphologic’s artwork is informed by a scientific mission to document, aquaculture, and protect Miami’s (and the world’s) coral. They hypothesize that the coral pioneering onto the seawalls of Miami may hold the keys to understanding how reef organisms worldwide will adapt in the Anthropocene.

This project is a part of BFI and Bridge Initiative’s collaborative curatorial program, Waterproof, a series of site-specific artists’ projects developed in direct response to the environmental issues facing South Florida. BFI and Bridge will illuminate these issues, advocate for change, and present an opportunity for public action through innovative, temporary public art installations around Miami.

This artwork would not be possible without support from:

A Knight Arts Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the support of the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida, The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, Miami-Dade County DERM, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council, the Cowles Charitable Trust, the Miami Downtown Development Authority, Michele King Soffer, Reuben Molinares, Brian Butler, John McSwain, View Into the Blue, True Pixel Productions, ACCRETE (NOAA), The Biscayne Bay Pilots, the Miami Beach Marina, Rescue-a-Reef - UM, and the City of Miami Beach Mayor’s Office.