Circle & Mika Taanila | SSEENNSSEESS

Alright, as promised, we will now start with the unveiling of this year’s GEGENkino programme… and we kick off with something big!

One part of our 2017 programme will be an extensive hommage to the still too under-appreciated Finnish artist and filmmaker MIKA TAANILA. For the occasion of this hommage, which will feature a wide and varied selection of his works, Mika Taanila will personally come to our festival and will bring with him the Finnish psych rock outfit CIRCLE for their first show in Germany in over six years and for the German premiere of their collaborative SSEENNSSEESS performance, which will combine a live show by the PHARAOH OVERLORD offspring and a triple 16mm projection by Taanila. Instead of an opening band, we will show the film HERMAFRODIITIT feat. music and footage of Taanila’s former post-punk band SWISSAIR. Read about the interesting history of this film and Taanila early post-punk endeavours over at N&B RESEARCH DIGEST, and find out more about the event below or at the FB event page.

15 April 2017, 9pm – UT Connewitz

Tribute to Mika Taanila

With brisk nonchalance, 1965 born Finn Mika Taanila moves between classical documentary film, experimental video art, avant-garde, performative installations and musical projects. Using diverse aesthetic strategies of access in his works, he deals with promises of a future to come (honored or not), technological evolution as well as human engineering. At that, they are also always about the accompanying noises that are triggering and flanking these phenomena. In the short piece Optical Sound for example, a perfectly cross-grained soundtrack for the state of yearning for a weightless world of data is created by layering mechanical sounds of a discarded twenty-four-wire-printer, turning it into a magnificent techno symphony. In our three-day tribute, we want to trace Taanila’s working methods as well as the utopian revisions that his films tell, be it in form of a biographical portrait of nuclear physicist-electronic instrument maker composer-filmmaker-programmer-artist Erkki Kurenniemi, be it as a relaxed comment on the stumbling man-machine-encounter at the RoboCup tournament or as an optimistic survey of the elliptical “futuro house” and its equally volatile history—a prototype of a modern, mass-produced tenement made of plastic. The uniting topic of these, admittedly, very different works is the topic of disappearing, discarding, forgetting, of making people forget something. Representative for this is A Physical Ring, whose found footage material originates from a laboratory experiment of which no one remembers what insights it was once hoped to reveal.


Mika Taanila (*1965) studied Anthropology at University of Helsinki and holds a diploma in Design from Lathi University of Applied Sciences. Taanila’s films and installations were shown at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and at international biennials. He was honoured with the Finnish Ars Fennica Award in 2015.

About the event

German Premiere | Circle & Mika Taanila – SSEENNSSEESS

FIN 2013, 50’, no dialogue, live music by Circle, 2 x 16mm, 1 x file

Supporting films | Swissair: Hermafrodiitit

FIN 1986, 22’, OV/English subtitles, 2 x file), Verbranntes Land (FIN 2002, 7’, no dialogue, file

With Circle and Mika Taanila, rock music and film come together to a sensually and visually unique live experience. Located between rock opera and a theatrical audio-visual performance, the spectacular show combines blaring glam rock, improvised krautrock and chanson-metal with perfectly clocked 16mm film projections. Beside their musical range, Circle are particularly famous for their zappa-esque live performances: leather uniforms stand alongside spandex knickers, meticulously timed stage choreographies present pop iconography, celebrity attitude and rocker postures as decalcomania pictures and templates. In SSEENNSSEESS, Mika Taanila projects on a triptych of three screens with the help of four 16mm projectors and one video beam. The pictures of the loops derive from science films of the 1950s, which were made in the phonetics department of the University of Helsinki and which were digitally processed and alienated by Taanila. Verbranntes Land is a melancholic ode to bygone technology and its vanishing, generally, and to that of one image in particular: in a split screen composition, a VHS image is on view, vanishing gradually, with every run-through, in the process of cleaning. Swissair gathers super-8 material which Taanila shot for a music project of the same name with his co-pilot Jari Härkönen.

15 April, 21 Uhr – UT Connewitz – € 12 pre-sale / 15 at the door