Amanda VanValkenburg: Unnatural Disasters

May 6, 2017 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
High Concept Labs at Mana Contemporary Chicago
2233 S Throop St
Chicago, IL 60608

Amanda VanValkenburg

As part of Mana First Saturdays, Spring 2017 Sponsored Artist Amanda VanValkenburg will have a video installation and a version of her art game based on Unnatural Disasters with it’s first Virtual Reality iteration to experience. Drop in any time from 1-4PM to try out the games for yourself.



Unnatural Disasters transforms experimental 3D video vignettes into interactive and audience controlled experiences through art games, virtual and augmented reality, and interactive video. Unnatural Disasters focuses on images of neglected Americana, with buildings modeled off of “ghost” buildings.

The expanding and contracting nature of capitalism creates a certain number of these abandoned buildings, often left in a state of decay. These digital interventions are inspired by cinematic trends of “disaster porn” and apocalypse films. These mood driven vignettes explore the anxiety of a contemporary world and the cathartic desire to see it destroyed.

During her sponsorship, VanValkenburg will take use the rehearsal space, as well as feedback from the community, to test different software and technology to transform the the piece from video to digital interactive performance.


Amanda VanValkenburgAmanda VanValkenburg is a visual artist working with video, 3d, photography, painting, and drawing. She received her BFA in painting, drawing, and sculpture at Brigham Young University, studied digital media at Hochschule für Künste Bremen, and received her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in film, video, new media, and animation.

Her work explores the way disaster shifts from the personal to the political. Her video work has shifted from performance based work to 3D animation digitally re-enacting environmental disasters. She creates video vignettes of architectural disasters using existing buildings and locations to inform each piece and dictate what disaster takes place.

Her work has been exhibited in the MCA, Mana Contemporary, the Gene Siskel, the Nightingale, 6018 North Gallery, Links Hall, LeRoy Neiman Center Gallery,  and the Chicago Digital Media Festival.