Mark Street Characteristics
Mark Street's work spans from abstract hand-manipulated pieces to work that includes found footage, to feature length improvised narratives. Each film experiments with new ideas, and avoids being limited to a specific look or mood. Since Street started making films in 1983, he has always gone back to painting, bleaching and marking frames one by one. He likes the way the abstract films Winterwheat, Echo Anthem, Missing Something Somewhere, Blue Movie, Sweep, Guiding Fictions, and Sliding off the Edge of the World allow the viewer to be taken to another world in a sense; one that is unfamiliar to them.
Other films such as Lilting Towards Chaos, Excursions, Why Live Here? illustrate how different characters are coping with their alienation from places. These films are set up so that the narration and imagery are side by side. This way the viewer can feel the challenge of trying to put the pieces together themselves. The films alternate between different states. They combine different elements such as fiction, landscape photography, documentary, and a style of writing that seems like it could be someone's diary.
He has made a graphic silent film called Triptych in 1992, a diary film called Lilting Towards Chaos in 1991, a documentary about travel in Central America entitled Excursions in 1994, and an edited version of pornographic footage called Blue Movie, in 1994. Sweep (1998) is about an infant and his father and they adventure they go on when taking a walk in the neighborhood. The Domestic Universe (1999) portrays three Brooklyn, NY fathers discussing the ongoing changes and hardships of fatherhood. Street used the experience of his own daughter growing up as inspiration for the film. Sliding off the Edge of the World (2000) uses a very illustrative poem to depict time passing and how if effects people.
Street has also made two feature length videos; At Home and Asea (2002) and Rockaway (2005). These two works go into depth about the fictional characters home as well as their relationships. Street then examines how one might effect the other. In both films, Street explored the locals first, a Baltimore and a Queens, NY neighborhood, and then he figured out how he wanted the actors to improvise material that would make the characters seem natural in these settings.
Information collected from: http://art.umbc.edu/fac_staff/street.htm
--Frank Juliano, 2006.