Amanda VanValkenburg

Unnatural Disaster (Cabin Fire) (2016)
digital video

My work is concerned with exploring disasters. What that disaster is shifts, as does the line defining a personal disaster from something more expansive. With a background in painting and drawing I started making video work with an interest in performance for video, but the pieces always pulled narrative, so I shifted to 3-D animation pieces exploring digital re-enactments of environmental disasters. Consistently I’ve used aesthetics and mood as a way of communicating meaning.

I’m currently working on a series, called Unnatural Disasters, which consist of video vignettes that use 3D animation software that function as digital re-enactments of environmental disasters. Each vignette starts with locating a physical location, usually architecturally focused, and then using information which includes photographs and tracked camera footage to sculpt or re-build the location in a virtual space. By re-creating these spaces digitally I’m able to interact in a way that is ephemeral and impermanent. I’m then free to take inspiration from the location as well as from the 3D software itself to simulate an event happening to the space. I’m interested in the intersection of technology and environment and how humans shape the world around them.