Headlands Center for the Arts

Thematic Residency on Climate Change

Structured to address four key themes—collaboration, adaptation, mitigation, and equity—Headlands’ inaugural Thematic Residency on Climate Change gathered climate scientists and multi-disciplinary artists to collaborate on projects and think through how to represent the effects and challenges of climate change through art, science, writing, advocacy, and other projects as determined by their interactions.


James Arnott, Associate director of the Aspen Global Change Institute and is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan

Arnott’s expertise is on the interface between science, policy, and practice with a focus on climate change impacts, adaptation, vulnerability, and resilience. At AGCI, James manages the Institute’s suite of global change science and outreach activities, including an annual interdisciplinary workshop series and various place-based and collaborative research projects. At the University of Michigan, James is completing a dissertation entitled, Accelerating the Usability of Global Change Research. In 2011, James was awarded the McCloy Fellowship in Environmental Policy. James received a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Principia College. 

Shahzeen Attari, Assistant Professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University Bloomington

Attari’s research focuses on the psychology of resource use. Her work has strong links to both cognitive and environmental science, and focuses on perceptions, motivations, and biases of how people understand complex systems and use natural resources. She has studied how people estimate energy and water use and her current research investigates water systems thinking, how to use games for research and learning, ad hominem attacks on climate change researchers, and methods to correct misperceptions of natural resource use. She is an Assistant Professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University Bloomington. 

Adriane Colburn, Artist Colbunis an artist based in San Francisco, CA, Athens, Georgia and Vermont

She has exhibited her work throughout the US and internationally, at venues such as The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Artsterium in the Republic of Georgia, Parsons, New School in New York and at the Royal Academy of Art in London. To support her work, she has participated in expeditions to remote parts of the planet-traveling to the Andes and Amazon with Cape Farewell in 2009, to the Arctic Ocean on scientific research expeditions and most recently sailing from Barbados to French Guyana on a research vessel. Adriane’s recent work consists of large-scale installations (comprised of layers of hand cut paper, digital prints and projected light) that investigate the complex relationships between human infrastructure, earth systems, technology and the natural world. These works, derived from scientific data, images and video collected through research and while participating in scientific expeditions, look at how mapping is used to investigate fragile and inaccessible ecosystems along the edges of the Earth’s last vestiges of wilderness. 

Sofía Córdova, Artist

Córdova received her BFA from St. John’s University in New York in 2006, and her MFA from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco in 2010. She also completed the one year certificate program at the International Center for Photography in New York in 2006. She has performed at SFMOMA, SOMArts and Galeria De La Raza among others. Her work has been exhibited at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Southern Exposure and The International Center of Photography. She was awarded the 2014 Kala Fellowship and has recently participated in a residencies at the Bay Area Video Coalition in San Francisco, Arteles in Finland and ACRE in Wisconsin. Her work is part of Pier 24’s permanent collection. 

Mark Decena Writer, Director, and Producer

Decena is a writer, director and producer of feature films, television programming, web films, and branded content. A three-time Sundance alumni, Mark’s first feature, Dopamine won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize. Decena’s documentary work spans across themes of social justice, sustainable design and the environment. He wrote and directed the Redford Center film, Watershed, and was a writer and producer onStand Up Planet, a Gates funded project currently on air on Participant Media’s channel, Pivot. His latest film, Not Without Us, premiered as the closing night film at the S.F. Green Film Festival and is currently running the festival circuit. Mark is also the founder of Kontent, a boutique production company based in San Francisco, housing a Kollective of award winning filmmakers, as well as producers and creatives. 

Ellie Irons, Artist and Eductor

Ellie Irons an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. She works in a variety of media, from walks to WIFI to gardening, to reveal how human and nonhuman lives intertwine with other earth systems. Recently she has been an artist in residence at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, the Institute for Electronic Arts at Alfred University and the SVA Nature and Tech Lab. Recent exhibition venues include Wave Hill, the Queens Botanical Garden, Pioneer Works and the Center for Strategic Art and Agriculture in New York City, and Flora Arts and Nature in Bogotá, Colombia. Her garden projects have been featured at Sure We Can, a redemption center in Bushwick, 1067 PacificPeople, an art center in Crown Heights, and the Gallery at Industry City as part the Brooklyn Rail’s exhibition Social Ecologies. Her recent writing is published in Temporary Art Review, The Brooklyn Rail and Landscape Architecture Futures, and her tours have been presented by Chance Ecologies, Genspace, and Atlas Obscura. She is supported by a 2015 NYFA Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Work and a 2015 Turbulence Commission for networked art practice. Irons teaches part