For the opening event of this year’s Borscht Film Festival, Coral Morphologic was commissioned to curate a night of underwater films at the New World Symphony SoundScape Park on Miami Beach. At 7,00 Square-feet, the NWS WallCast is the largest projection wall in North America, and is accompanied by a state-of-the-art immersive sound system. This night will feature the first-ever screening of our Natural History series from 2009-2011 in its entirety, followed by the world premiere of a new film, Into the Cosmic Flower Garden. The event is outdoors and tickets are free – bring your sensory perceptions, and enjoy the experience.
We are proud to unveil our newest series of coral art films the week of Art Basel Miami Beach as part of our ongoing ‘Aquacultural Transformation‘ project on the video wall in the Southeast Financial Building (200 S Biscayne Blvd. Miami). By introducing living textures of corals into the lobby of the tallest commercial building in Florida, we aim to create an atmosphere of relaxation and contemplation in an otherwise hectic business environment.
Four Floridian zoanthids analyzed in our study. Clockwise from Top Left: 1) Undescribed Zoanthus aff. pulchellus 2) Undescribed Palythoa aff. variabilis 3) Zoanthus solanderi 4) Undescribed Terrazoanthus sp.
Recently, we spearheaded a study of the Zoanthids found in our local nearshore waters that has been published in the Journal of Marine Biology titled “Species Diversity of Shallow Water Zoanthids (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Hexacorallia) in Florida” with Dr. James Reimer and Yuka Irei of the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. This is the first comprehensive study of its kind, analyzing DNA to determine the taxonomic authenticity of our local zoanthid species. We discovered that there are as many as four species of zoanthids in South Florida that have been overlooked by scientists until now.
Despite their ubiquitousness in shallow tropical waters, zoanthids have been largely neglected by marine biologists who have otherwise been more focused on understanding reef-building stony corals, leaving the taxonomy of tropical zoanthids vague and out of date. This, combined with the natural morphologic variability of these animals, makes physical identification difficult for the casual observer. The advent of DNA analysis has allowed for an accurate picture to emerge, and it is clear that there is much more diversity than had previously been recorded.
Coral Morphologic is pleased to debut our first curated exhibition of Miami-based, aquatic-themed video art on the Southeast Financial Center video wall as part of the DWNTWN Art Days September 7th (7am to 6pm) and 8th (9am to 5pm). The films will continue to screen weekdays until September 21st from 7am til 11am. The playlist is as follows:
Coral Morphologic – Surf Zone - 2012
Justin H. Long – In Search of the Miercoles – 2010
Akihiro Shiroza – Planktonic Boundaries Beyond the Mind – 2008
Akihiro Shiroza – Resonance of Contrary Components – 2010
Justin H. Long – Solo – 2012
Coral Morphologic – Highlighter – 2012
‘Aquacultural Transformation’ Installation No. 1 at the Southeast Financial Center lobby, downtown Miami
In the first installment of our Knight Foundation-funded public art series Aquacultural Transformation, we have been commissioned by the owners of the Southeast Financial Center in downtown Miami to curate the new HD video-wall in the lobby. The video-wall is comprised of twenty-five 55″ screens, measuring 23′ x 14′ in total size, making it one of the largest HD walls in Florida. We have produced a series of coral films for Aquacultural Transformation that will run during the morning hours of 7-10 a.m for the next six months. Our goal was to create a Technicolor, aquatic ambiance in the lobby that engages and relaxes workers before the start of a hectic work day – therefore acting as an antidote against the 24-hour barrage of news and financial information that these workers are constantly subjected to. A primary component of the Aquaculture Transformation project is to convey that that the essence of the coral reef is literally infused into the concrete limestone infrastructure of every building in the Magic City. And thus the modern pop-cultural iconography of Miami is ultimately reflective of the neon diversity of our native coral reefs. This can be represented no better than the opening sequence to ‘Miami Vice’, in which the Southeast Financial Center is featured prominently in the last shot.
A fluorescent green flower anemone (Epicystis crucifer) releases sperm into the water column of an aquarium at the lab of Coral Morphologic.
On May 24th we observed this fluorescent green flower anemone (Epicystis crucifer) spawning in our lab, and managed to film the event. The anemone continued to release sperm for nearly 30 minutes, while several other nearby flower anemones released significantly smaller amounts of gametes. This was the second time we have witnessed a flower anemone spawning event at our lab this spring. We first observed a synchronous spawn of more than a dozen anemones in an outdoor aquaculture system that receives natural sunlight on April 12th. After the jump are photos of anemones spawning during this event.
Coral Rekindling Venus trailer.
We are excited to share that Coral Morphologic has contributed film and images to Coral Rekindling Venus, a full-dome digital planetarium motion picture directed by artist Lynette Wallworth. Coral Rekindling Venus explores the magnificence of the coral reef and its organisms in a high definition, 360 degree view with a score including Antony Hegarty and Christian Fennesz. The film premieres in twenty-four (24) planetariums around the world on June 5th, which coincides with the Transit of Venus. The movie’s title equates the significance of coral reefs in the 21st century to this historic astronomical event.