nl12 | lab is an Amsterdam based multi media studio that specializes in XR-productions on contemporary and historical themes. With our partners in the field of museum, archives, festivals and educational institutes we create new media narratives to bring major social issues closer to a new public. Our hands-on working structure unites artists from various backgrounds, disciplines and generations. Together we create a new approach for storytelling and interaction.

NL12 mission statement:

When it comes to art and media these are exciting times. Technology is changing our society once again; while embracing the new we are also losing some of the rudiments: the printing press is declining and a new generation seems to have abandoned television. We photographers and film-makers therefore have to re-invent ourselves accordingly. We leave a lens-based environment and move to a world where images are constructed by data. Soon the title ‘photographer’ might even become defunct and we will have to formulate new terms for what we do. And in the midst of it all,
we still need to study our history and be able to extract the essence of our past in order to continue the visual dialogue.

New media protocols bring more possibilities for dialogue than ever before. Nowadays, public recognition of our work is not sufficient, we want our audiences to engage, too. These developments are complicated and reformed art education is the key; this is the place where we can look back, analyze and think ahead. A new generation will grow in a media world very different to the one my generation grew up in.

There is no such thing as a separate ‘photography world’; disciplines should no longer isolate themselves. Today, different generations and disciplines are co-dependent. Building inter-disciplinary teamwork means that we not only define the (new) domains we will work in, but also the roles they will take in our co-operation. Different backgrounds and expert skills do matter in order to create the teams that will make the difference.

For documentary film and photography, new ways and forms will come but fundamentally the stories we tell – about the world we live in – will always remain. Documentary is the field of those who love to observe, listen and connect. The themes and subjects (and the distinction between them), dialog, observation and the research will always be central, in linear- and non-linear storylines and by all kinds of media.

NL12 photography, film & virtual reality
Nieuwe Leliestraat 12 sous
1015 SP Amsterdam

About Leo Erken:

Leo Erken (1964) studied photography at AKI Academy of fine Art in Enschede, the Netherlands from 1983 till 1988. In 1988 he moved to Amsterdam to become an independent photojournalist. His work was published in newspapers, magazines and other media around the world. From 1999 he works  -besides photography- mostly on documentary film and new media projects. He is a lecturer at AKV | St. Joost art academy in Breda, the Netherlands.
You can find his cv here

Leo Erken (1964) studierte von 1983 bis 1988 Fotografie an der damaligen AKI Kunstakademie in Enschede, Niederlande. In dem Jahr seines Abschlußdiploms zog er nach Amsterdam, um freier Fotojournalist zu werden. Seine Arbeiten wurden weltweit in Zeitungen, Zeitschriften und anderen Medien veröffentlicht. In den späten 1990ern begann er, sich dem Dokumentarfilm zuzuwenden.
Bewertung auf dem Buch Ulitza/Straße in Der Freitag.

(Photo: Bob Bronshoff)

Leo Erken’s work is based on a journalistic interest for the social developments. He is a storyteller with the clear personal thematic range. After he had graduated from AKI (Visual Arts Academy in Enschede) he worked as a photojournalist for the local newspapers and magazines. In that time he has made his first reportages about the furious situation in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. He would stay on this subject for about 12 years. His general subject of interest is “hope”, then there came also “survival” and “conflict”. At first his work was published in the news pages of the newspapers and magazines. Then it developed further towards the back pages and the special editions van the printed medias. His work was soon noticed by the artistic foundations and collectors that helped him to develop further. Then came other stages: billboards on the buildings, exhibitions, books, internet and TV. From 1999 he works  -besides photography- on documentary film and new media projects.

This site is made by Leonie Hoever based on the ‘Smart Mag’ theme.

Please note that all copyrights on this site belong to the authors, photographers and designers. This website and its content are protected by international laws on copyright. Anyone who wants to copy or publish the photos, the text or the design needs the permission of the copyright holders. Using our material on the Internet is also a form of publication. If you have questions about copyright please contact us.

Leo is lecturer at St Joost School of Art & Design in Breda, the Netherlands.

All pictures by Leo Erken (or stated otherwise).

Leo’s photographs can be found at De Beeldunie in the Netherlands, Laif in Germany and Panos in the UK.

Marie Louise Schipper

Frieda Gustavs

Friends in the creative industry:
Ruben Terlou
Ola Lanko

Hristina Tasheva
Roger Cremers

Sander Veeneman
Ernie Buts
Bob Bronshoff
Judith Jockel

Friend in Film editing and websites:
Leonie Hoever

Friend Next Door
The Milkmaid Project

Friend Cameraman:
Deen van der Zaken

Friends in Sound editing:
Frank van der Weij
Huibert Boon

Friend in books:

Friends in tulips:
Jan Ligthart
The Amsterdam Tulip Museum