Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Mika Taanila's Optical Sound

Talking about Mika Taanila (who also made the documentary on Erkki Kurenniemi), his latest short film, Optical Sound, will be
featured at the Tampere International Short Film Festival, 9-13 March 2005.


Optical Sound (2005) is based on the live performance of the Symphony for 12 Dot Matrix Printers by the Canadian artist duo [The User]. The film inter-cuts close-ups of the mechanical parts of the printers performing the piece, taken from surveillance cameras placed inside the machines, with images of the ASCII files' score being played, which has been photocopied straight onto clear film without the use of a camera. These live images are contrasted with time-lapse footage of large modern office blocks shot from the streets, at dawn and dusk, in Helsinki.

[The User] says of Symphony for 12 Dot Matrix Printers, "Nowadays technology defines our relationship to our surroundings. Whether it's about communication, making music, or producing food, the tools; phone, record player, genetic engineering; have a crucial role in the process and the result itself."

Taanila says of Optical Sound: "Our senses are used to the grey noise of technology that floats among us all the time. Its time, for a change, to LISTEN to that technology! Optical Sound focuses the attention of the spectator on the presence of technology. The film is critical of the `brilliance' of technology; intentional mis-use of technology becomes art. While contemporary technology is trying its best to be smooth, invisible and fast, the film makes it visible and
plays around with it."


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OPTICAL SOUND

Finland / Suomi
2005
Experimental // 6 min // 35 mm // col., b&w
Director: Mika Taanila
Script: Mika Taanila
Photography: Jussi Eerola
Sound: Olli Huhtanen
Editing: Mika Taanila
Music: Emmanuel Madan, [The User], Thomas McIntosh
Production: Kinotar Oy
Contact: Hannes Vartiainen

Office technology becomes quickly outdated. Old tools turn into
musical instruments of the future. The film is based on a composition
for twelve dot matrix printers by the Canadian [The User].

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