Mika Taanila is a Finnish artist working in the fields of documentary filmmaking, avant-garde cinema, and visual arts. His work reflects on human and social relationships to technology, questioning and critiquing technological advancement as an agent of modernity and progress.
Taanila earned his undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Helsinki and studied video in the design department of Finland’s Lahti Polytechnic Institute. His award-winning interdisciplinary works have been exhibited and presented in galleries and museums in addition to traditional cinematic screenings. Optical Sound (2005) was the winner of the short film prize at the Tampere Film Festival, and he was recognized in 2000 at the Internationaler Medien Kunstpreis, Europe’s largest media art competition.
His 2012 video installation, The Most Electrified Town In Finland, showing workers in the Olikiluoto nuclear power plant, was scored by acclaimed Finnish experimental electronic music duo Pan Sonic (Mika Vainio and Ilpo Väisänen), and his 2002 documentary The Future Is Not What It Used To Be, compiles rare archival footage and experimental films from little-known Finnish electronic music pioneer and experimentalist, Erkki Kurenniemi. Additional works include Thank You For The Music (1997), Futuro - A New Stance for Tomorrow (1998), RoboCup (2000), A Physical Ring (2002), and the compilation DVD Aika & Aine (2005).
Taanila lives and works in Helsinki as a film director and video instructor at the Academy of Fine Arts. He is also a new media arts producer at Finland’s Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture, and a contributing member of Helsinki's Avanto Festival production team.