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Miami Beach Staghorn Coral Survey – Pre & Post-Hurricane Irma

November 15th, 2017

One of the last tasks we took on before securing our laboratory prior to Hurricane Irma was check on the health of a community of endangered staghorn corals (Acropora cervicornis) just offshore Miami Beach. This community is one of the few remaining nearshore populations of these corals in Florida, and has proven to be more resilient than populations further south in Biscayne National Park, which have suffered from diseases in recent years. Because these staghorn corals along Miami Beach are growing on flat, hard seafloor, we knew that they were going to be subjected to significant wave energy during Hurricane Irma.

When we finally had a chance to survey the damage this past week, we sadly found that most of the staghorn colonies had been smashed to bits. Fortunately, many of the broken pieces of coral survived the maelstrom and have already begun cementing themselves back down to the sea floor and developing healthy new growth tips. While hurricanes can be exceptionally damaging to coral reefs, asexual fragmentation of corals due to these storms is also an important way they can colonize large areas of substrate. As unfortunate as it is to see this damage, based on what we observed post-hurricane offshore Miami Beach, we can expect new colonies to form, and thickets of these endangered corals will return once again.

‘Coral Lords’

July 21st, 2017

We are psyched to share that Colin provided the spoken word intro to the song ‘Coral Lords’ from Animal Collective member Avey Tare‘s beautiful new album, Eucalyptus. The passage reads:

“Corals were the first timekeepers of Planet Earth. For more than half a billion years, their internal clocks have been synchronized with the sun and the moon. However, it would take life several hundred million years of further evolution before finally crawling out of from beneath the liquid lens of the ocean and into the open air where it would develop the consciousness necessary to ask the question, then the intelligence needed to invent the technology to empirically measure its objective reality. Thus, the purpose of life is to quantify the nature of the cosmos itself. The development of symbiosis between coral and humankind appears as a harbinger for the final stages of life on earth. Our ouroboros is nearly complete.”

‘Signs of Life’

June 30th, 2017

Coral Morphologic makes a cameo in the new Arcade Fire music video, ‘Signs of Life.’ The vid was made by Mayer/ Leyva & the Borscht Corp. family, and follows two paranormal investigators (Shariff Earp & Carly Mark) through the weird world(s) of South Florida.

‘Coral Orgy’ Retrospective

March 5th, 2017

Thanks to everyone that attended the CORAL ORGY as part of the 10th Borscht Film Festival this past Friday, February 24th at the New World Center on Miami Beach. CORAL ORGY was a site-specific audiovisual collaboration by Coral Morphologic and Animal Collective on the cosmic secrets behind the sexual reproduction of corals. Coral Morphologic proposes that unlocking the secrets of coral reproduction is a culminating achievement in humankind’s quest for colonization of planet Earth, and a first step towards restoring a healthy biosphere.

Animal Collective performed an hour of new music inspired by the reefs while Coral Morphologic projections painted a cosmic world of fluorescent coral inside the Frank Gehry-designed concert hall.

Read reviews of the event here: Creators & Miami New Times.

We are grateful to have been able to include footage of one of the first predicted stony coral spawns in captivity from Project Coral at the Horniman Museum. This advancement in coral reproduction (led by aquarist Jamie Craggs) is evidence that humanity is finally crossing this all-important milestone at just the critical juncture when the world’s coral reefs are ailing most. We are proud to support the work of SECORE and the Coral Restoration Foundation, and were thrilled to be able to display their footage of corals spawning in nature across the New World Center’s 7,000 square foot video projection wall in Soundscape Park prior to the main event.

‘Coral Orgy’ by Animal Collective & Coral Morphologic

February 8th, 2017

On February 24th 2017, Coral Morphologic, Borscht Corp., and III Points present ‘Coral Orgy’, a collaborative site specific performance with Animal Collective at the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center on Miami Beach as part of the 10th Borscht Film Festival (Borscht Diez). ‘Coral Orgy’ is an audiovisual meditation on the secrets behind the sexual reproduction of corals, and an invocation towards the human quest of unlocking them. Animal Collective will perform an hour of new music inspired by the reefs while Coral Morphologic projects a cosmic world of fluorescent coral inside the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center performance using its twelve 4k projectors to map all five of Gehry’s sails. The audience is free to explore various experiences throughout the building, including a Bermuda triangle ritual by Otto von Schirach, screenings of short films, new virtual, augmented, aural, and physical realities by Hot SugarMayer\Leyva, and more. Before the performance Coral Morphologic films will play outside on the 7,000 square foot projection wall in Soundscape Park. 

Tickets on sale Tuesday, February 7th via https://coralorgy.frontgatetickets.com

Through this event, Coral Morphologic and Animal Collective aim to highlight the groundbreaking scientific work done on coral reproduction by the non-profits Coral Restoration Foundation (USA), SECORE (GER), and Project Coral (UK).

‘Fish n’ Trips’

November 30th, 2016

We are psyched to make an appearance in a new episode of Hamilton Morris’ Viceland TV show, Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia. Colin & Hamilton dive on Miami’s Cosmic Reef in search of a marine sponge known to contain psychedelic compounds. Watch via Viceland.