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Topic: The Negativland Story

Jack Hertz

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This film chronicles the 36 year history of one of America's most controversial bands: Negativland.

There is a common thread among certain bands, such as Devo, The Residents and Negativland. Each has approached the notion of a band in unique ways, in a sense redefining what we think of as a band. Each have had critical success in their own way. Each of these groups deconstructs song structure, creating beautiful mind-bending alternatives. These bands use technology as an experimental canvas, where new and older electronics act as brushes. They are as versed in musicality, as well as, multimedia, theater and film. The most important thread among these groups is longevity, each has existed for over 36 years and have never steered from the path of celebrating the unusual for the success associated with commercialism.

I was first introduced to the band when Mark Hosler and Ian Allen approached me after I had just come off stage performing with my band Problemist. This was circa 1982 and a very different world. A year later I started Unsound magazine and Negativland were featured in a number of articles. Fast forward, many years later, and I am making documentaries: The Negativland project is born. With a project of this scope it was important to find a collaborator, and soon Leah Gold and I were working together. Leah and I both relish difference, strangeness and come from an outlier culture. We also both understand the historical significance of Negativland.

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