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Spectral Transmissions 

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 Ghosts Of Future Pasts


Audio Contributors:

Cliff Hengst - The Residency

Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri - The Woman In The Screen (from NY Times 1953)

Courtney Stephens - Improvement (After Robert Ashley)

Nels Bangerter, Jack Bangerter, and Nicole Billeschou - If Any Man Lack Wisdom

Lynne Tillman - Save Me From The Pious And The Vengeful

Mark Elijah Rosenberg - Ex Hoc Momento Pendet Aeternitas

(featuring Stephen Christopher Quinn and Elliot PDS-70b Skaff)

Steven Sheil and Jeannie Finlay - My Enemies Have Sweet Voices

Kirsten Johnson and Dick Johnson - Call From The Future

Sir Issac Newton (Morey Amsterdam) - Gravity Under Pressure


Multi Media Contributors:

Matt McCormick


D-L Alvarez

Holland Andrews

Jason Hanasik

Johanna Jackson

Selections From the Public Domain Review 

Danny Paul Grody

Chanti  Darling

Nancy Andrews and Jennifer Reeder

Mark Elijah Rosenberg with Elliot PDS-70b Skaff

Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher with Charlotte Selb

Matt McCormick

While the Space Race, the Arms Race, and a myriad of other Cold War competitions are common knowledge, few know that the United States and Soviet Union also faced off to see which country could dig the deepest hole. This lack of public awareness is particularly surprising seeing that one of the countries may have inadvertently discovered Hell in the process.

Documentary / 12 minutes 25 seconds / 2020

D-L Alvarez

Acoustic (2009) graphite and ink on paper,

ward off a mystical force (2019) graphite and colored pencil on paper,

Pest (2020)graphite and colored pencil on paper, 

Kasonda (2020)graphite on paper,

a minuscule struggle for power (2020) graphite on paper, 

guilt confirmed by autopsy (2021) graphite and colored pencil on paper

Holland Andrews
Jason Hanasik with John Kapellas



For 53 years, John Kapellas enjoyed the bright sky of the western US, but one day he started to burn, blister and break out in rashes whenever he was exposed to light. Now allergic to the entire spectrum of light, Kapellas has spent the last decade living in complete darkness. When one of the side effects of the drugs John was prescribed made him ‘go nuts’, he started drawing large abstract pictures on his walls and playing the piano to calm his mind and soothe the pain. How to Make a Pearl explores Kapellas’ coping mechanisms and how he is turning the ‘grit’ of past trauma into a ‘pearl’ of reflective creativity.  


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Johanna Jackson
















The Future was then

A series of futuristic pictures by Jean-Marc Côté and other artists issued in France in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910. Originally in the form of paper cards enclosed in cigarette/cigar boxes and, later, as postcards, the images depicted the world as it was imagined to be like in the then distant year of 2000. As is so often the case their predictions fell some way off the mark, failing to go far enough in thinking outside the confines of their current technological milieu (hence the ubiquity of propellors, not to mention the distinctly 19th-century dress).


There are at least 87 cards known that were authored by various French artists, the first series being produced for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. Due to financial difficulties the cards by Jean-Marc Côté were never actually distributed and only came to light many years later after the science-fiction author Isaac Asimov chanced upon a set and published them in 1986, with accompanying commentary, in the book Futuredays: A Nineteenth Century Vision of the Year 2000.

original source of images and text -The Public Domain Revue -

Danny Paul Grody

Harbour Island

Chanti Darling
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Nancy Andrews and Jennifer Reeder

From the set of  I LIKE TOMORROW

I Like Tomorrow is a sci-fi comedy musical that combines live-action and animation. This short hybrid film is set in an orbiting space station where a lonely lady astronaut works out a love triangle between her past, present, and future self. Each woman has a different but meaningful relationship to “space” and are all portrayed by the same actor.


Screening at The Portland International Film Festival Fri, March 5 – Sun, March 14

Mark Elijah Rosenberg with  Elliot PDS-70b Skaff
Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher with Charlotte Selb


This edition of Spectral Transmissions was made with the support of the NW FilmCenter and the Portland International Film Festival

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Produced and Directed by Michael Palmieri  and Donal Mosher

Original Music and scoring by Michael Palmieri

Sound editing and design by Michael Palmieri

Additional music by  Courtney Stephens and Donal Mosher

Curated by Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri

Special thanks Liz Cooke-Mowe and the entire team of the NW FilmCenter 

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Contributor Bios:


Kirsten Johnson is one of premier American documentary directors and cinematographers working today. Her film’s “Dick Jonson Is Dead” and "Cameraperson" premiered at Sundance 2016 and her short "The Above" premiered at 2015 New York Film Festival. Her work as a cinematographer appears in Oscar-winning "Citizen Four," Academy Award-nominated, "The Invisible War," Tribeca winner, "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," "Fahrenheit 9/11", Academy Award-nominated "Asylum," "This Film is Not Yet Rated," "Derrida,’” and many more.


Jeanie Finlay is one of Britain’s most distinctive documentary makers, telling intimate stories to international audiences. Whether inviting audience behind the scenes of Teesside’s last record shop in her home town (SOUND IT OUT), uncovering a rollercoaster Nashive fable (BIFA winning Orion The Man Who WOuld Be King), to share the extraordinary journey of a British transgender man, pregnant with his child (BIFA nominated Seahorse) or onto the set of the world’s biggest television show (Emmy nominated Game Of Thrones: The Last Watch), all of Jeanie's films are all made with the same steel and heart, sharing an empathetic approach to bringing overlooked and untold stories to the screen. 


Steven Sheil is a writer and filmmaker based in Nottingham, UK. His work has previously appeared in Black Static, Horla, The Ghastling and as part of the Black Library anthology Invocations. His first feature Mum & Dad was released by Revolver in 2008. His second feature Dead Mine, will be released by eOne later in the year. He also one of the co-directors of Nottingham’s Mayhem Film Festival.


Courtney Stephens is a non-fiction and experimental filmmaker based in Los Angeles Her recent feature, The American Sector, (made with Pacho Velez) documents fragments of the Berlin Wall installed as monuments around the US. The American Sector, was named one of the best films of 2020 by The New Yorker.


Danny Paul Grody is a solo musician and founding member of San Francisco based bands Tarentel and The Drift. His first solo album Fountain was released in 2010 on Root Strata. 2013 saw the release of his critically acclaimed third album, Between Two Worlds (Three Lobed Recordings), and the following year Danny self-released, Furniture Music. His latest full-length, Other States (2016), was released by Geographic North for their excellently-curated Sketch for Winter IV series. In addition to his solo and collaborative work, Danny also composes music for film. Most recently, he contributed music for the documentary film, The Gospel of Eureka (2018), written and directed by Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri. His work can also found on the award-winning documentary, October Country (also directed by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher), which garnered a “Best Musical Score” at the Cinema Eye Honors in NYC.


Mark Elijah Rosenberg  is a writer and filmmaker. He wrote and directed Approaching the Unknown (Paramount Pictures, 2016), a philosophical sci-fi film about exploring the limits of human experience in order to appreciate that the mysteries of the universe will always be ineffable. Mark directed, co-produced and created the story for Year Million (National Geographic, 2018), a six-hour fiction / documentary hybrid mini-series about the effects of technology on the future of humanity. Mark is also the Founder and former Artistic Director of Rooftop Films, a non-profit film festival and grantmaking organization based in Brooklyn.

Stephen Christopher Quinn is an artist, naturalist and author who has spent a lifetime exploring the natural world and working in a career at the intersection of art and science. Quinn worked as an artist in the Exhibition Department of the American Museum of Natural History for 39 years. He is the author of Windows on Nature, a lovely behind-the-scenes look at the magic of the museum dioramas.


Elliot PDS-70b Skaff loves dogs, flashlights, reading, climbing furniture, playing music, and chasing his parents around the dining room with “yogurt fingers.” He enjoyed his first trip to the American Museum of Natural History. 


Matt McCormick is a Spokane, Washington based video installation artist and filmmaker.[1] His work extends documentary and experimental filmmaking, focusing on the sublime decay of contemporary culture and the landscape both urban and rural. McCormick is an artist and filmmaker who works in both the art and independent film worlds. He has had three films screen at the Sundance Film Festival, has had work exhibited at Art Basel, Moscow Biennale, and the Museum of Modern Art, and his film The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal was named in ‘Top 10 film lists of 2002’ in both Art Forum Magazine and The Village Voice. He has also directed music videos for The Shins, Broken Bells, Sleater-Kinney, and Yacht, while also collaborating on projects with artists such as Miranda July, James Mercer, Patton Oswalt, and Calvin Johnson.


Lynne Tillman  is a novelist, short story writer, and cultural critic. She is currently Professor/Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English at the University at Albany and teaches at the School of Visual Arts' Art Criticism and Writing MFA Program. Tillman is the author of six novels, five collections of short stories, two collection of essays, and two other nonfiction books. She writes a bi-monthly column "In These Intemperate Times" for Frieze art magazine.


Jennifer Reeder is an artist, filmmaker, and screenwriter. Her short film A Million Miles Away (2014) was nominated for a Tiger Award for Short Films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and screened at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Short Narrative Films category. In 2003 she had a solo screening at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. She received a Rockefeller Grant for New Media in 2002 and a Creative Capital grant in 2015 to support the production of her first experimental feature-length film, As With Knives and Skin. Her films have screened at the Whitney Biennial; The New York Video Festival; Kunsthalle Exnergasse in Vienna, Austria; the Gene Siskel Film Center; the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center; the Wexner Center for the Arts; the Chicago Underground Film Festival; and the 48th International Venice Biennial.


Nancy Andrews makes films, drawings, props and objects. She works in hybrid forms combining storytelling, documentary, animation, puppetry, and research. Her characters and narratives are synthesized from various sources, including history, movies, popular educational materials and autobiography. Her work has been presented by the Museum of Modern Art (2011, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2000), Anthology Film Archives (2010), REDCAT Los Angeles (2011) Pacific Film Archive (2006, 2005,2000) Gene Siskel Film Center (2004), Ann Arbor Film Festival, Flaherty Seminar (2006, 2012), Maine International Film Festival, (2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009,2011), Nova Cinema Bioscoop, Brussels (2007), Jerusalem Film Festival (2000), and Taiwan International Animation Festival (2007), among others.


Jason Hanasik is a filmmaker, artist, curator and journalist. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, at various international film festivals and in visual art exhibitions worldwide. His most recent film "A Childhood On Fire" is also available through The


Holland Andrews is an American vocalist, composer, and performance artist whose work is based on emotionality in its many forms. In their composition work, Andrews focuses on the abstraction of operatic and extended-technique voice to build soundscapes encompassing both catharsis and dissonance. Frequently highlighting themes surrounding vulnerability and healing, Andrews arranges music with voice, clarinet, and electronics, harnessing the innate qualities of these instruments’ power and elegance to serve as a vessel for these themes. As a vocalist, their influences stem from a dynamic range of musical stylings including contemporary opera, theater, and jazz, while also cultivating their own unique vocal style which integrates these influences with language disintegration and vocal distortion. Andrews previously performed solo music under the stage name Like A Villain.


Cliff Hengst is an artist and performer, with a BFA from SFAI and current teaching position in the SFAI grad program. Hengst’s one-man play, "Mr. Akita" was recently performed at the Berkeley Art Museum as part of their Matrix program. He has exhibited his work at SFMOMA, Southern Exposure, The San Francisco Arts Commission and Gallery 16 in San Francisco. Hengst has performed and exhibited at Hauser & Wirth, Machine Project in Los Angeles and The Tang Museum at Skidmore College in New York, and most recently at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.


Nels Bangerter is an award-winning documentary film editor. His work includes “CAMERAPERSON,” the critically-acclaimed winner of Cinema Eye Honors and International Documentary Association Best Editing awards as well as Cinema Eye's Outstanding Feature and grand jury awards for best documentary at San Francisco International Film Festival, Sheffield, Camden, and Montclair; “LET THE FIRE BURN”, Independent Spirit Awards' Truer Than Fiction Award winner, and winner of Best Editing awards from the IDA, Cinema Eye, and Tribeca Film Festival; Netflix's “DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD,” winner of Sundance's Special Jury Award for Innovation in Nonfiction Storytelling; Independent Lens' New York Times Critic's Pick “THE HOTTEST AUGUST;” HBO's “VERY SEMI-SERIOUS,” News and Documentary Emmy winner and SFIFF award winner; “KUMU HINA”, winner of the GLAAD Media Award for Best Documentary and PBS’s Independent Lens Audience Award; and “WAR CHILD”, which premiered at Berlin and won Tribeca’s Audience Award. Nels edited the Sundance short documentary “PROJECT X,” directed by Laura Poitras and Henrik Moltke and starring Michelle Williams and Rami Malek. He has been nominated twice for News and Documentary editing Emmys.


D.L. Alvarez  is inspired by queer politics, Bauhaus assemblage and classic “slasher” films. Often highly conceptual, Alvarez’ drawings and installation works are intelligently macabre, delving into critical complexities of race, sexuality and social structure. In one such series, the artist renders elaborate, constructed horse costumes, hung on the wall, adorned in small sweaters, or rendered in anatomically correct plastic.  Alvarez has exhibited consistently in New York City and abroad since the mid-1990s, including shows at Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco, Derek Eller Gallery, NY, Kunsthaus, Dresden, Germany, Galeria Casado Santapau, Madrid and Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, California. Group shows include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, The Drawing Center, New York, The Whitney Museum, New York, New Museum, New York, and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. 


Chanti Darling (Chanticleer Trü) would like you to know that “RNB ain’t no joke.” As frontman of Portland, OR retrofuturist electro-soul adepts Chanti Darling, Trü drinks deeply from the sacred founts of Disco, Boogie Funk, and the dizzying universe of house music. Teasing out the essential filaments, Trü weaves a sound that nods to the past as it blasts into the future; urgent, irresistible, and absolutely of the moment. 


The Public Domain Review is dedicated to the exploration of curious and compelling works from the history of art, literature, and ideas – focusing on works now fallen into the public domain, the vast commons of out-of-copyright material that everyone is free to enjoy, share, and build upon without restrictions.

Johanna Jackson is an internationally renowned multidisciplinary artist who works in drawing, painting, animation, fibers, ceramics, and more.  Jackson emerged from the late 90s San Francisco-based scene known to many as the Mission School. Her work often combines multiple handmade objects, paintings, and texts into immersive three-dimensional environments.


Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher are a collaborative filmmaking/multimedia team. Their first feature as directors OCTOBER COUNTRY won the Grand Jury Prize at Silverdocs, received two Cinema Eye Honors, and was nominated for a 2009 Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary. The film is a haunting portrait of American poverty, described by A.O. Scott as a “Joyce Carol Oates novel rendered as a documentary.” Their most recent feature film  "THE GOSPEL OF EUREKA" premiered at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, was released theatrically by Kino Lorber, and broadcast on POVin 2020.  Palmieri and Mosher  have worked in live cinema, performing at the First Look Festival at the Museum Of The Moving Image and collaborating with Daniel Lanois, Pop-Up Magazine, and others. They score their own films and perform their soundtracks  as live accompaniments. Palmieri’s music video director credits includes work for Sharon Van Etten, Beck, The Strokes, and The Foo Fighters. Mosher's writing can be found at Failed States Journal, Talk House, and other publications. 

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