Ascension, A Useless IslandA barren and volcanic island isolated in the middle of the vast Atlantic Ocean, Ascension laid untouched for centuries until its landscape was dramatically altered for survival through experimentation with its ecology.
The series explores the results of this experimentation, which scientists’ have labeled as 'the evolution of ecology in fast forward'. The experiments were initiated by a handful of desperate British marines in the early 19th century to increase the islands sparse rainfall. They shipped in and planted flora from the four corners of the world, and soon, blooming sustainable vegetation on the seemingly sterile volcanic island became the marines’ main focus.
Since the age of Darwin, science had believed that evolution takes millennia. Yet, Ascension shows fascinating proof to the contrary, offering the world evidence of an ecology that has developed into a working system in little more than two hundred years. Amazingly little scientific research has been carried out on this natural anomaly, ignoring potentially important research about the speed in which this cloud forest has matured in such a short time.
The human interference in the development of Ascension's natural environment creates a landscape that is familiar in its content but unfamiliar in its order. An uneasy sense of displacement hangs in this manufactured terrain.
Tension is drawn out in these surroundings where the conflicting tendencies of man and nature exist in both order and disorder.