Collecting samples in Colorado.
Collecting samples in Colorado.
Ochre foraging at ancient site in California.
Ochre foraging at ancient site in California.

About Early Futures Research

Early Futures is an integrative research artwork by Heidi Gustafson. In collaboration with artists and researchers worldwide, she works at the intersection of primordial matter and human consciousness. Current projects focus on iron-based pigment.

Founded in 2009, Early Futures originally worked in tenuous, alchemical places of the developing mind. We documented a lot of weird stuff kids said and drew and did. We connected future studies thinking to early childhood education. Outcomes from one of our core projects, the Children’s Think Tank, lead us to follow new research in contemplating the affects of imaginal practice and exercise.

About the Artist

Heidi Gustafson is an interdisciplinary artist-researcher and ore whisperer raised in the Pacific Northwest. 

She studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art (BFA ’05), University of Baltimore and California Institute of Integral Studies (MA ’14). She’s been an artist-researcher, contemplative practitioner and teaching artist for over 15 years. 

She’s worked with several renowned scholars and artists of integrated research, including ecological artist Hugh Pocock, cultural astrologer Richard Tarnas, Native American pigment expert Melonie AnchetaI Ching master Yi Wu and Tibetan mystical poetry translator Steven D. Goodman.

When she is not working in the workshop or on the collection, she collaborates with her sister, scientist Claire Gustafson, a brilliant post-doc research fellow at Stanford who studies inner life of the microbiome. Or works with her father, Gregg Gustafson of Anuraco, a global leader and innovator of real-time environmental monitoring systems.


Early Futures welcomes collaborative inquiry + research.

Contact: Heidi Gustafson,
Telephone: +1 425.890.6402
Social: instgrm

Workshop visits, commissions and pigment consultations available by request.