Are we psychic coral-polyps?, 2022Cedar and casein paint

Image: Audrey Melton. Proposal image courtesy of the Artist: The artist, Randi Renate, was diving alongside conservationists similar to the photo, planting coral fragments back into the ocean, in collaboration with Coral Vita’s coral reef restoration in Grand Bahama. 

Inspired by the anatomy and symbiotic existence of coral polyps, Renate’s sustainably sourced, cedar-clad hollow is a space for collective gathering and learning. Coral are potent symbols in narratives about climate change. Rising temperatures and ocean acidification have produced massive die-offs of this fragile ecosystem, which is also the most biodiverse on the planet. The coral’s cooperative mode of thriving–a colony of many individual polyps together acting as a united creature–is a potential model for slowing global warming and repairing the damage we have already done to our planet.

Coralescence : conversations highlighting the connections between art and science

Produced and recorded by the artist Randi Renate, these episodes are “studio visits” with scientists and other researchers in their fields, exploring a broad range of topics like coral conservation, neuroscience, cosmology and beyond. Editing and original music by Liam Bellman-Sharpe.

Episode 1:
coral islands : saving our reefs

Dive into the conservation work of Coral Vita, an operative Coral Farm based in Grand Bahama that is focusing on coral restoration, growing corals to restore dying reefs through microfragmentation and assisted evolution. In this conversation, the artist Randi Renate will be speaking with three different specialists at the farm: Co-Founder of Coral Vita and chief reef officer Sam Teicher, coral technician Oshiko Riley and coral restoration specialist Allanah Vellacot. This episode’s studio visit will take us around Coral Vita’s farm and explain their process of growing small fragments of coral, the outplanting process and what you can do to help save this important ecosystem.


These conversations are part of Randi Renate’s 2022 fellowship at Socrates Sculpture Park in New York City, curated by Jess Wilcox.



Randi Renate was born ‘en caul,’ intact inside the amniotic sac, in San Antonio, TX. Her scientific background in biology and oceanography informs her current artistic research. Operating across installation, sculpture, sound and video, Randi’s artwork choreographs bodies within a sculptural framework to investigate how the ‘micro’ of the individual weaves into the ‘macro’ of the collective whole. Randi received a BFA in Studio Art and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014 and moved to Berlin where she maintained a studio and artist-run project space, TRACE. She is a 2020 MFA graduate of the Sculpture Department at the Yale School of Art. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships including Lighthouse Works on Fishers Island, NY and Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. Randi Renate has shown both internationally and nationally, with solo and group exhibitions at ROCKELMANN& and Galerie im Turm in Berlin, DE among others. Her most recent permanent public sculpture, “blue is the atmospheric refraction I see you through,” at the Adirondack History Museum, was made in part by the 2021 New York State Council of the Arts DEC Community Arts Grant.
Image: Schneur Menaker

Instagram: @randiirenate