maCk mCfarland, Artist.

Mack McFarland is an interdisciplinary artist who has found a home in Portland, OR. McFarland has worked in many mediums, his focus now on video, net-art, performance, and drawing. He feels strongly that art can be more than one thing simultaneously; an aesthetic experience as well as a self and group didacticism. He believes that the media experience in the 21st century is becoming the major factor in defining one’s self and belief system. This has lead Mack to his interest in information dissemination, consumption, and comprehension in regard to sociopolitical power, and cultural identity.

Mack has exhibited work nationally and international, including and series of film and video screenings at Craig Baldwin’s Artist Television Access in San Francisco, CA, and has been selected to be in the 8th Northwest Biennial at the Tacoma Art Museum in 2007. He was awarded the William H. Givler Thesis Award in Fine Arts and won the Charles Voorhies Drawing Competition. Mack has worked performatively in front of the camera, in the street, and on the theater stage; between which he sees little difference. wenwon.com

Dennis Nyback, film archivist

Dennis Nyback is an independent film archivist who curates feature length programs from his personal collection of rare short films. Last year he showed films in New York, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Boston, Austin, Houston, as well as in Leipzig, Cologne, Bern, Brussels, and other cities across Europe. Nyback has been a featured guest at many international film festivals including Trickfilm Festival in Stuttgart), Underdog Festival in Oslo, and the Pi-Fan Film Festival in Puchon. He has served on the jury at the KinoFilm Festival in Manchester and the Interfilm Festival in Berlin.

Dennis served as story consultant to the PBS documentary YOURS FOR A SONG: THE WOMEN OF TIN PAN ALLEY, and MTV drew both on his collection and on his expertise for their hour long special on the history of the music video. He has been asked to program on subjects as wide ranging as baseball (Houston Museum of Fine Arts), blues music (Film Museum in Antwerp, Belgium), industrial animation ( New England Animation Festival), Mormon films (Pioneer Theater in New York), suburbia (Jacob Burns Film Center in New York), vaudeville (The Tank in New York), and Lt. Theodore (Dr. Seuss) Geisel's WWII army training films (Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts in San Francisco). www.dennisnybackfilms.com

Anne Richardson, producer/mastermind

Anne Richardson grew up in The Portland That Was, and still misses the Union Gospel Mission's JESUS LIGHT OF THE WORLD sign which used to illuminate the intersection of Burnside and Broadway. She appeared in early Tim Smith/Matt Groening films during high school, studied film at Sarah Lawrence and Columbia University ( MFA 1991), and banged around New York raising her daughter on the Upper West Side. She taught film history classes with Dennis Nyback at Portland State University and Northwest Film Center in 2001. Married in 2003, they continue to collaborate.

Damon Eckhoff, web site

Damon Eckhoff is a web developer and artist who lives in Portland, Oregon. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Missouri, Columbia, as well as a B.F.A. in Painting from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. He is fascinated by computer-based technologies and how they continue to define new areas of space in regards to information, culture, and social interaction. His research has included web-application design, robotics, and human-computer interaction (HCI). Currently, he is exploring how disparate web-based technologies can be combined to create new ways of experiencing the web. www.damoneckhoff.com

Anu Samarajiva, intern

From Columbus, Ohio by way of Columbo, Sri Lanka, Anu is a Reed College sophomore currently testing her educational options which include the interest in history and art that she was happy to explore with THE PORTLAND THAT WAS.



E-mail us at: portlandwas@gmail.com.



The Portland That Was is a true collaboration, drawing on the strengths, talents, inspirations and obsessions of four artists.

All the films in The Portland That Was come from Dennis Nyback's hand picked archive of 5,000 rare short films. Dennis has been collecting short films since 1979. He has been doing site specific screenings since 1980, when he screened early jazz films in a 1920's dance hall in West Seattle. Dennis had the films, and the obsession with history.

Curious about new media, and knowing that Dennis loved to explore history with his films, Anne Richardson was interested in using the Nyback Collection in site specific mobile videos which addressed the roots of American pop culture. She had explored this idea elsewhere, and hadn't ever thought of doing it in Portland. Anne had the curiosity, and a deep impatience with what she had already seen done with web video.

It was Mack McFarland who saw that both new media and old could be used together to explore Portland's history via film. In his award winning PNCA thesis project of 88 daily web videos, www.kinetocast.com, he confronted his viewers with short non-narrative videos which systematically challenged the traditional motion pictures experience. A born boundary hopper, Mack saw mobile video as a way to make the motion picture experience more physical for the viewer. Mack named The Portland That Was, and took it to PICA, where it was selected for the TBA:06 Festival. Mack had the vision, and he pulled together the team members.

Painter Damon Eckhoff used both his artist's eye and his background in software engineering to create the web interface for The Portland That Was. It was Damon who proposed the mash up of Google Maps and You Tube. As far as we know, The Portland That Was is the first website to do this. Damon had the knowledge, and the ability to innovate a merger of 20th and 21st century technologies.



Many people helped make THE PORTLAND THAT WAS. We drew on the advice, encouragement, inspiration and information from:

every one at

Craig Adams, radio historian
Leigh Adamson, artist
Tauno Alanko, sailor
Sue Arbuthnot, filmmaker
Alex Aronson, intern
David Banyan, PICA
Yael Bridge, intern
John Callahan, cartoonist
Sarah Cantor, historian
Tom Chamberlin, filmmaker
Bud Clark, Mayor of Portland
Kristin Cross, intern
Nan Curtis, artist
Walt Curtis, artist
Erin Boberg Doughton, PICA
Richard Engeman, historian
Bill Foster, NWFC
Victoria Frey, PICA
Courtenay Hameister, radio show host
James Hawthorne, musician
John Henley, book dealer
Brooke Jacobson, professor
Harold Johnson, poet
George Katagiri, Nikkei Legacy Center
Kristan Kennedy, PICA
Bart King, author
Gary Lacher, film transfer technician
Mark Lakeman, neighborhood organizer
Tony Larson, political activist
Thomas Lauderdale, bandleader
Shawn Levy, journalist
Steve Lindsay, graphic designer
Marne Lucas, artist
Jean Margaret, PICA
Mike Mitchell, musician
Buck Munger, publisher
Harue Mae Ninomiya, Nikkei Legacy Center
Valerie Otani, Nikkei Legacy Center
Eliza Plumlee, NWFC
Tom Richardson, fan club president
Malina Rodriguez, PICA
Mark Russell, PICA
Aaron Scott, Pink Martini
Shonna Spadt, PICA
Tim Smith, filmmaker
Doug Stewart, technical assistance
Erin Sutherland, singer
John Terry, journalist
Sarah Tsalbins, intern
Phil Wikelund, book dealer
Richard Wilhelm, filmmaker
Linda Wysong,
Lorisa Zimmerman, NWFC


Special Thanks to all the Reference Desk Librarians of Multnomah County Library