about Ruben Van Leer
Ruben Van Leer’s work is driven by the interest in movement, embodied experience, future sciences and the inter-subjective. Recently as a filmmaker and media artist he’s been creating independent productions shown and awarded world wide. Since Y2K he’s been fulfilling roles as creative director, interaction designer, VFX supervisor, producer and teacher.
Van Leer (1984, The Netherlands) did his 1st master studies Social Design (2007, MFA) at the Sandberg Institute (postgraduate of Rietveld Academy Amsterdam), a semester Advanced Filmmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute USA (2005) and finished his 2nd master degree in film (2013, MA) at the Netherlands Film Academy.
Before the age of 18 Van Leer won two national competitions, creating a film and print campaign for foundation Against Useless Violence (broadcasted on MTV) and winning the NPS WebDance competition, resulting a contemporary dance film titled Merkavah for public television.
Van Leer worked with a multi disciplined arts community e.g. opera maker Michel van der Aa (interactive song cycle The Book Of Sand 2015), filmmaker Peter Greenaway (live installation Writing On Water 2003), jazzman Tigran Hamasyan (music video Cave Of Rebirth 2017) and choreographer Emio Greco (staging dance opera Non Solo Medea 2018).
Latest artworks Van Leer created are the space opera film Symmetry (2015): a story about a particle physicist who’s revealed cosmic knowledge when transforming into a dancer, falling into the LHC machine and ending at the moment before the Big Bang. Van Leer has been able to film this project inside CERN, the largest science laboratory in the world, starring soprano Claron McFadden, choreographer Lukáš Timulak and physicist Prof. Robbert Dijkgraaf. The project has received 11 awards, broadcasted internationally and is released in 8 languages. The live music performance and VR installation Sacred Environment was a collaboration between Dutch-Australian composer Kate Moore and Van Leer: an audiovisual investigation into the changing meaning of once holy places in our de-mythologised society. The piece was commissioned by the Holland Festival 2017 and Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, premiered live in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and received an Audience Award.
Coming from a musical family and working with contemporary disciplines in film and dance from an early age, the time based arts are engraved in Van Leer’s DNA. Not limited to the confines of cinema, theater, digital art and pop-podia his practices aim to go beyond crossing genres and connecting audiences from different backgrounds around the world.
The studio serves as a production powerhouse that combines cinematography and digital art to research contemporary visual storytelling, connecting with a broadband generation audience.
Van Leer setup a boutique Westframe in the year 2001, bringing together a network of creatives to make awarded branded content for clients e.g. Sony, Hilfiger, Philips, Heineken, Tele2 and applying crafts for pop-music bands Coldplay, Wyclef Jean and The Black Eyed Peas. With the latter he toured USA and Europe as lead designer for The Energy Never Dies Tour (2010).
The TRUTH.IO foundation was created by Van Leer in 2015 as an independent research platform and co-production entity for film and media arts projects with e.g. Arts@CERN, Holland Festival, CTM Pictures, LUSTlab, Stedelijk Museum, Ballet National de Marseille and with support of Microsoft, Google and VICE.
The new studio setup aims to combine these two different networks to bridge worlds of entertainment, science and technology with disciplines in the arts, creating a next kind of Gesamtkunstwerk.
The work needs to challenge the audience with a deeper imagination about todays globalising society. As a collective of artists, designers and technologists the studio aspires to fulfil a meaningful role creating story driven visual culture in a digital age.
data driven realities as metaphor
“I love to play with inter-subjective ideas in the work. Big ‘operatic’ ideas… If human life where to be a simulation for example, then we also must have the key to (re)write the source code. We have to, because change is inevitable. In today’s globalised world, expressing an authentic voice becomes the most valuable asset; socially, economically, historically. I believe it’s the artistic voice within each and everyone, that finally can create an image of integration, the fusion of opposites - the very thing us as individuals and our society alike struggle with in life. I see a potential of symmetry between Power and Meaning that can create a next form of collaboration for my broadband generation; a crystallisation of being, surpassing borders without and within. Contemporary forms of storytelling, film and media arts can facilitate that imagination for our people.” –RVL