The Zone of Total Eclipse 

Mika Taanila

This piece is based on scientific film footage shot by the Finnish Geodetic Institute in Poroluoto, western Finland in 1945. Filmed during a total solar eclipse, this was the first time in history that sound film was used to measure the exact geographical distance between two continents, Europe and North America. The scientists attempted to calculate the passage of time by beaming long-wave radio signals into space and synchronizing these signals with their cinematic observations. The experiment failed, however, due to loading errors and mechanical running problems with the newly introduced 35mm cameras. The work consists of two separate reels – positive ('The Sun') and negative ('The Moon') – projected simultaneously, superimposed on a wall. The piece pays homage to the early pioneers of scientific film, a celebration of our subliminal dark side and interplanetary shadows.

Production Year
Original Title
Täydellisen pimennyksen vyöhyke
Finnish Title

Täydellisen pimennyksen vyöhyke 

English Title

The Zone of Total Eclipse 

Production Countries
Mika Taanila (Author), Lasse Saarinen (Producer), Kinotar OY (Producer), Cilla Werning (Producer), Olli Huuhtanen (Sound Design)
Press Photos
Mika Taanila (s. 1965) is a filmmaker and visual artist based in Helsinki, Finland. He works with documentaries, experimental film and visual arts. Human engineering, utopias, failures and man-machines are recurring themes in his films and installations. Taanila’s works have been shown at major international group shows, such as Venice Biennale (Nordic Pavilion 2017), Aichi Triennale (2013), dOCUMENTA (2012), Shanghai Biennale (2006), Berlin Biennale (2004), Manifesta (2002) and Istanbul Biennial (2001). Solo shows include the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki (2013–14), Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2013), TENT, Rotterdam (2013) and Galleria Heino, Helsinki (2010). Taanila’s short films have been screened altogether at more than 300 international film festivals and special events. In 2015, Taanila was awarded with the prestigious Ars Fennica Award, the biggest Finnish art award.

25 works