BIOROCK, 2010-2012 | Metal and limestone coral installation, Lombak Indonesia | Public collection of Gili Island Trust
BIOROCK sculptures, created by American artist Joseph Foster Ellis, are metal rods that have an electrical pulse flowing through them at all times (mostly powered by solar or wind energy). Then, sea minerals begin to react with the electrified metal itself to create a reaction that builds a coat of limestone around the metal. The limestone grows, slow but strong, and after a year it is harder than concrete. Coral loves limestone, so corals then begin to make their home in these new "reefs". What's interesting is that when coral is given "shock therapy", it stimulates coral growth at rates of up to 5 times normal. Another part of these structures is the placement on the structure of coral endangered of dying in nearby reefs (once attached to the structures, we then see them reborn).