This survey features the musical videos and films of The Residents. Originally from Louisiana, they moved to San Francisco in the early 1970s and formed Ralph Records. With wit and rarified electronic inventiveness, The Residents fuse a dark storytelling tradition of the South with an eccentric countercultural spirit of the Bay Area. The exhibition includes material such as Eskimo (1979), the bizarre 2002 Demons Dance Alone show, and footage from their ambitious Vileness Fats film project, which was reluctantly cancelled after four years (1972–76) of filming.

Throughout their 30-year history, The Residents have cloaked their lives and music in obscurity. Band members (always four in number) refuse to grant interviews, do not identify themselves by name (or even individual pseudonyms), and never appear without masks (usually giant eyeballs with top hats.) Their management team, The Cryptic Corporation, coordinates their productions and tours.

A representative will introduce the opening program and discuss The River of Crime, their recently released downloadable “Crimecast” series modeled after radio dramas of the 1940s.

Organized by Barbara London, Associate Curator, Department of Media.

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