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Imagine 22 years ago, a 30 year old Mark, still striving: ambitious about his art and poetry, reaching out to the world. That’s where the attached drawing (‘90) + poem (‘98) come from. Mark’s wife, Bonnie, created the thoughtful collage.  
A first imagining of the wasteland surrounding Mark’s cell in Florida State Prison. 
Thanks God this Thanksgiving that I’m not living in there. 

Kickstarter Launch Party for The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest - Tonight at Maysles Cinema

Kickstarter Launch Party Invite

Read it and weep. Mark DeFriest is in solitary today. Has been for the last year. I once visited him and it was his first time out of his cell (besides 2x week for shower) in 6 months. No yard, nothing. In Florida, he was kept from the yard for over a decade. He’s not one of these “worst of the worst” you might expect to find in solitary types. Either way, WTF is up with the US moral compass?
What we have here is the USS Gary Gilmore. 1 of 32 UFO’s from prison made by Mark DeFriest. 

Amazing Life of Prison People: The Strip | By Brian McFadden

The Strip by Brian McFadden
Oh yeah, this is way to truth-y, so I’m not sure the prison authorities will let it through. I sent it to Mark DeFriest today for his birthday. He’ll turn 52 behind bars (his 31st in prison), August 17, and he still loves to/needs to laugh. In fact, he refuses to stop and I’m always the one who can’t laugh about the shit he’s in. As he likes to say, “Fuck em, if they can’t take a joke.” Happy Birthday, Mark DeFriest. 

Thinking about the Death Penalty, generally and specifically

43 People were executed in the death chamber just below Mark’s custom cell on Florida State Prison’s X-wing during the time he was there. Old Sparky - Florida’s electric chair - was old and faulty, and during electrocutions smoke and the smell of burning flesh would often float into his cell thru the air vent. Hard to imagine. Add to that - it was windowless and he wasn’t even allowed outside - as in didn’t see the Florida sun at all for 10 years + 1981-1993.

Shit you can make with popsicle sticks (if you’re in prison and you’re Mark DeFriest)

Why this Blog is Here

I’m making a documentary about the life of Mark DeFriest, a Florida prisoner (once known as the Houdini of Florida for all his escapes), who seems fated to spend the rest of his life behind bars despite never having been convicted of a violent crime. This page is dedicated to his art, and the way we’re bringing it to life in the film. He may be locked down for good, but make no mistake, Mark DeFriest has made some masterpieces in prison.  Unlike gulag novelists or death row song writers, he has practiced in varied mediums: melted plastic (for keys), cut metal (for thru-the bars escapes), electronic subversions (the Butt-man radio) and in illustrations and models and writings of an alter-verse where Suck Sluts (Mark a.k.a. Wendy) manipulates the prison gangs for psycholigical power and battles the evil forces of the Klingons (guards).  

I hope you guys will enjoy getting to know the Mark DeFriest I know. 

Original Tron trailer. This was my first in theater movie at age 6. I lived inside Tron for those hours cause I couldn’t separate fantasy from reality, film from real life at that point. I’m obsessed with humans trapped in grids right now. Got any other references for me??