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Emery Vanderburgh

Headshot of Emery Vanderburgh

Hello, I’m Emery (she/her), an Intermedia artist. I love fashion, film and art history (especially cheesy 60’s sci-fi aesthetics), plants, pilates, and procrasti-cooking.

I’m a white person of settler descent, who grew up in Grimsby, Ontario, on Dish With One Spoon treaty land. My childhood home, a peach tree farm on the lands of the Hatiwendaronk, Haudenosaunee, and the Anishnaabe including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, was squeezed between 6-lane highways and lakefront. I sadly recognize my home as some of the last vestiges of (precariously green-belted) fertile land and reflect on how I’ve benefited from the same colonial systems of oppression, gentrification, and exploitation that ruin land and communities that sustain us. I honour the original stewards and protectors of these lands and express my gratitude to the current communities of Indigenous peoples living there today.

Broadly my practice centres on disability, access, and sci-art intersections, while my personal experience has led me to focus on representations of queer, physically disabled, and neurodivergent identities.

My current projects include: Specimens, an AI-assisted rotoscoping project on altered movement funded by Counseil des arts de Montreal; Therma, a collaborative sci-art project exploring and democratizing the artistic potential of Infrared with Lead Artist and neuroscientist Dr. Cristian Zaelzer, funded by the Canada Council of Arts; and an ongoing research and creation project on plant mutation and disability representation, in collaboration with Dr. Arseli Dokumaci and AIM lab.

Therma is being exhibited in Museo de Arte de Contemporaneo de la Universidad de Chile and our research is featured in the 2022 Simposio Internacional de Innovación en Medios

Interactivos (SIIMI). Depression In Translation, a sci-art textile project based on the research of Amanda Brown and in collaboration with Amanda Brown and Indigo Danielson, was presented at the Brain Canada National Conference in Tkaronto/ Toronto. My commercial photography with ALLELES Design Studio has been featured by Adobe, the homepage of Instagram, and on the cover of Studio Magazine’s Fall/Winter 2020 issue. My advocacy work has led me to interview prosthetic manufacturers in Germany and Iceland and has been featured by CBC, CTV, and several disability-focused publications.

I now reside on the unceded, stolen territory of the Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk) in Tiohti:áke/ Montreal. I am actively learning how to approach my art in an anti-colonial way, in acknowledgment of my role and positionality, in order to make it truly accessible.