Mika Taanila (b. 1965), a director and a visual artist regular MSFF visitors are certainly familiar with, cannot be shut into cells or categories because the wild range of his original observations is so wide. In his works Taanila takes a close look at technological utopias and visions of the future with the methods of documentary film, video art, avantgarde and stock footage, carries out a kind of media archaeology and repeatedly questions the limits of our sense perceptions. The depths and the secrets of shapes and surfaces receive a new form from Taanila, concreteness and matter bow down towards abstract, chaotic turns into comical, threat vents into laughter and vice versa.

The traditional form of film is for Taanila, who has been awarded with the biggest acknowledgements for artists in Finland including the Ars Fennica in 2015 and is internationally one of the most respected Finnish modern artists, just one of the many starting points for expression. In the 1990s he directed music videos for Kauko Röyhkä, 22-Pistepirkko and Circle and his film and video installations have been displayed in galleries and art museums across the world. Key works also include Futuro – A New Stance for Tomorrow (1998), The Future Is Not What It Used to Be (2002), Optical Sound (2005), Return of the Atom (2015) and Tectonic Plate (2016).

At the core of Taanila’s production, which dances in the interface of reality and fantasy and questions the relativity and the direction of movement of time, the relationship between humans and machines and the vulnerability of technology is repeatedly brought up.

Lauri Timonen

Mika Taanila has curated the screening Night School of Experimental Cinema for the programme.