Laura Kraning is an experimental non-fiction filmmaker and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Film and Video Program in the Department of Media Study at University at Buffalo. She holds an MFA in Film/Video from California Institute of the Arts, where she taught in the Program in Film and Video from 2012-2017. She has a wide range of experience working in film and television production and post-production in both New York and Los Angeles, on animation, documentary, narrative, and experimental video art projects, specializing as a cinematographer, sound designer, and editor on independent documentaries.
In her video work, Laura creates atmospheric visual and sonic portraits of hidden places at the intersection of nature and machine. Navigating landscape as a repository for memory, cultural mythology, and the technological sublime, her work has been described as a form of “esoteric archeology,” delving into an experience of the subconscious of a landscape. Informed by her early artistic practices as an abstract painter and sculptor, her films blend poetic observational digital cinematography, immersive sound design, associational montage, found text, and archival media, to evoke the uncanny and symbolic layers located within the physical landscape. Decoding spectacle and conjuring visions of absence and the fluidity of time, her work creates an experiential atmosphere in which the viewer is transported into a liminal space of neither past, nor present, into a landscape of the imagination.
Laura’s work has screened widely at international film festivals, museums, galleries and microcinemas, such as the New York Film Festival’s Views from the Avant-Garde and Projections, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Edinburgh Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, MoMA’s Doc Fortnight, Art Toronto, Centre Pompidou, Visions du Réel, National Gallery of Art, Angus-Hughes Gallery, Union Docs, REDCAT Theater, and Los Angeles Filmforum, among others.
She is a recipient of the 2010 Princess Grace Foundation John H. Johnson Film Award, 2016 Princess Grace Foundation Professional Development Grant, Jury Awards at the 2010 and 2015 Ann Arbor Film Festival, Leon Speakers Award for Best Sound Design at the 2016 Ann Arbor Film Festival, Film House Award for Visionary Filmmaking at the 2016 Athens International Film and Video Festival and Special Jury Mention at the 2017 VideoEx International Experimental Film and Video Festival in Zurich.
Her most recent work, Meridian Plain, explores new terrain in the form of digital archeology and sound collage, mapping an enigmatic distant landscape excavated from hundreds of thousands of archival still images transmitted from a mechanical eye. Meridian Plain had its World Premiere at REDCAT in Los Angeles in a solo show titled “Laura Kraning: Spectral Landscapes” and had its International Premiere at the 2017 International Film Festival Rotterdam in the Tiger Shorts Competition. In Fall 2017, Meridian Plain screens in the Experimenta Section of the BFI London Film Festival, at 25 FPS International Experimental Film and Video Festival in Zagreb Croatia, at Antimatter Media Art in Victoria, BC, and she will present a program of her work at First Person Cinema in Boulder, Colorado in December.