Laura Kriefman to bring synchronised dancing cranes to London

Posted on Thu 30 Jul 2015
Illustration by Luke Oram

We are delighted to congratulate Pervasive Media Studio resident Laura Kriefman on being awarded a huge new £30,000 award: one of The Space/WIRED's first Creative Fellowships.

The Space and WIRED were looking for the 'next Einstein, Picasso or Kate Bush of tomorrow' in their quest for a great new piece of digital art. Laura's piece will be Mass Crane Dance, which will - you guessed it - awake London's city giants and teach them to dance.

"When we think of building sites we imagine noise, dust, hoardings that hide everything away, and huge metal structures that swell from invisible bases. How often do we look up and observe the majestic dance of construction?" - Laura Kriefman

Laura, whose company Guerilla Dance Project fuses movement and technology, will spend the next year working on a synchronised dance routine, set to music, for London's industrial construction cranes in London (there will be a chance to see a prototype performance in Bristol this October, too).

Laura will work closely with construction companies to use the cranes' embedded data capture systems to choreograph their movement whilst developing a new choreographic language specific to cranes.

By partnering with a city-wide radio station to broadcast the soundtrack, Mass Crane Dance will avoid any noise pollution. At dusk, people will be invited to gather to watch the beautifully lit-up cranes dance in synch. Londoners will be able to watch it from anywhere in the city, creating a large-scale, accessible spectacle that brings together the city's construction, art and people.

Laura said: "I'm hoping that people will be able to watch it from their favourite point in the city: going up to their roofs, looking out the window, seeing the duets and trios between cranes on the same site, then synchronised movements, where it's the same shape across the whole of the city.

"It's about creating this really positive memory, and absolute spectacle, that for a moment gives the city back to its citizens.

"Winning the Fellowship is an amazing validation in the work we're trying to do. And the best part is: I get to drive a construction crane."