In her ongoing project on space exploration, Alcázar-Duarte works with film, installation and augmented reality to examine how the potential terraforming of Mars is modeled on the tiny mid-Atlantic volcanic island Ascension. The island was the location from which NASA tracked the Apollo Moon landings, and is today still controlled by space agency interests. In the nineteenth-century, it was the site of a vast ecological experiment inspired by Charles Darwin and effected by Joseph Hooker, director of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, England, to introduce foreign flora and fauna to make the island “habitable,” with unseen consequences that continue to impact native species and island ecosystems.
In the specifically-created three-channel video Ikamo Tlalli – Earthless (2021), narrated in her family’s indigenous Mexican Nahuatl language, Alcázar-Duarte considers whether “progress” and contentment must necessarily be pitted against one another. The work references western society’s obsession with speed, expansion, and resource accumulation as an index of advancement at a time in which ecological disaster looms, and considers other ways of seeing, knowing, and being in the world.