The Illuminated Reef’s coral structures fluoresce brilliantly; low and high, stiff and soft, tubular and branch-like structures made of discarded and repurposed materials cover a dome-shaped mound. UV stage lights on opposite sides of the mound are mounted atop a 15’ tower erected in the center of the dome. From afar, the Illuminated Reef invites us, pulsating with a myriad colors.
Nearer, we see to one side, a ‘fish library’ with attendants under a canopy. The library holds over 30 paper fish lanterns. The lanterns range in size from an 24” clownfish to umbrella jellyfish to a 6’ hammerhead shark, each handmade and lit internally. We are invited to select a fish lantern and ‘swim’ around the reef. There is no time limit. Librarians simply ask that we return the fish when our swim is done.
We circle the reef, passing through one UV district into another, LED and EL wire lights blossom and twine around coral objects. Continuing around past the corals, fluorescence fades and loses all color. In the final quarter, we behold ‘the bleached zone.’ Dullness touches the edge of the vibrant area where we began. There is no limit to the revolutions we can take around the reef. Guest musicians facilitate an ambient environment and encourage the physical flow.
The Illuminated Reef is a 16’ diameter dome, with a 16’ height clearance. 10’ x 20’ canopy for the ‘fish library’ and 10’ x 10’ canopy for the musicians. The reef must be staffed and can operate in darkness over multiple days.