Cities are a lot like coral reefs; it's inhabitants, humanoid, insect, mammal, botanical, layer upon layer weaving in and out, all that interconnected life affecting the city and it's structure organically, growing and evolving constantly. This idea occurred to me while watching the documentary "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill", which is about a band of wild parrots in San Francisco and the man who used to take care of them.
The movie documents how the bird community was forcefully disbanded and their caretaker displaced because the owner of the property wanted to make his already large mansion even larger. When I began these sketches, I envisioned floating metropolises made from heaps of garbage, but in thinking about how cities are shaped by our own human forces, be they good or bad, I decided to emulate a coral reef.
As I was sketching, I was reminded of this passage from William Gibson's book, Irodu:
Laney looked at the tweaked Hillman on his screen. "You haven't told me what I'm looking for."
"Anything that might be of interest to Slitscan. Which is to say, Laney, anything that might be of interest to Slitscan's audience. Which is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections."
-William Gibson, from the book Idoru