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Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Further Information

Festival of Plagiarism by Stewart Home cover

Plagiarism: Art as commodity and strategies for its negation edited by Stewart Home cover

Footnotes *

1: A word of warning: press coverage of "Ruins of Glamour" should be taken with a pinch of salt. For example, the London listings magazine City Limits (18/12/86) claimed that: "What really aggrieved the collaborators was the 'anti-art' nature of the attack".

Glyn Banks did virtually all of the talking to the press -and so the coverage actually reflects his opinions and not those of everyone involved in the show, some of whom took extremely strong exception to the way in which the media reproduced Banks' opinions as though they 'represented' those of the group.

The two most accurate reviews of the 'Glamour' show were "Pink Feather Duster..." by William Feaver (Observer 14/12/86) and "Ruining The Ruins" by Nick Houghton (Performance No. 46, March/April '87). The rest of the press coverage was so inaccurate that it is likely to hinder, rather than enhance, any understanding of the exhibition.

Similarly, press coverage of the Festival Of Plagiarism generally represents a mixture of the opinions of whoever an individual journalist happened to talk to and the journalist's own peculiar biases - it should not therefore be taken as representative of the attitudes of the participants as a whole. Jon Savage's coverage is the most intelligent because he places the Festival in a cultural and historical context.

Ed Baxter's "A Footnote To The Festival Of Plagiarism" (Variant No. 5, Glasgow Summer/Autumn '88) was written a few months after the Festival took place.

It thus lacks the benefit of distancing from events - and is, in my opinion, useful (in that it is a record of how Baxter felt about the Festival at that time) but deeply flawed (in that his assessment is not particularly accurate). I produced a similarly flawed text - "A Short Reflection On The Festival Of Plagiarism" (which was written in March '88 and included in the revised edition of the "Plagiarism" booklet). I would attribute the chiefly (and definitely over) negative attitudes of Baxter and myself at that time to exhaustion (caused by the vast amount of administrative work with which we dealt during the course of the Festival).


2: Prior to the Festival Of Plagiarism being organised, Ed Baxter and I were in contact with Andrew Wilson who was in the process of setting up a second Destruction In Art Symposium. The 'original' event, like the Festival Of Plagiarism, was run without any outside subsidy.

Wilson's Symposium was eventually postponed because the venues at which it was scheduled to take place (Tate Gallery &c.) felt there was insufficient funding to cover costs. It became a standing joke between Baxter and myself that we would organise a second Destruction In Art Symposium before Wilson had raised sufficient cash to cover the cost of holding a more 'official' event in the style to which London's cultural 'elite' had become accustomed.


3: I typeset the "Plagiarism" pamphlet and I did not see the "ReDistribution" text until after I had delivered the completed typesetting to Baxter for proofing; the essay appeared along with the list of corrections Baxter returned to me. When I complained that I had not agreed to this text being included in the "Plagiarism" pamphlet and that I disagreed with it, Baxter informed me that this was 'tough'. Since I did not want to delay the production of the booklet with an argument, I typeset "ReDistribution" under protest alongside the other 'corrections'.


4: The essay is situated after two texts which deal with the political-economic dimensions of culture, it begins:

"...Moving away for a moment from the political-economic dimension of culture, but still keeping it in sight, a few points may be pertinently raised." Baxter has informed me that this sentence referred to his previous writing, rather than that of the other contributors to the 'Refuse' brochure. Given that this essay accompanied an exhibition in Sweden where few, if any, of those reading it would have seen Baxter's earlier writing, I find this an unlikely explanation of what was intended.

In my opinion, Baxter's text was consciously composed as a 'commentary' on the other writing included in the 'Refuse' brochure.


5: Harwood's project of 'infiltrating the media' is based on a number of implicit assumptions, including the belief that the technological aspects of the media are 'neutral'. In relation to this, it is perhaps interesting to note that Harwood regularly watches television, a leisure activity neither Baxter or I pursued at the time the Festival took place.


6: In producing this text I have quite consciously been engaged with the process of historification. Anyone wishing to make a 'critical' assessment of what I have written is, of course, well advised to take this into account. This said, and since my description of the Festival Of Plagiarism was composed with the intention that it should be accepted as 'history', I have done my utmost to ensure that the facts I cite are 'historically accurate'"


7: "A Footnote..." was intended as a 'theoretical', rather than a 'descriptive', text; consequently I would not expect to find detailed description within it. But even taking this into consideration, I would expect more description to relate the theory to its subject. Baxter has informed me that "A Footnote.." was aimed at those who participated in the Festival. If this was so, I am left wondering why it was published in a magazine where the majority of those reading it were unlikely to have attended the Festival, let alone participated in it.


8: In the course of this essay, I suggested that Ed Baxter attempted to present his opinions in the form of a 'meta-narrative'. In composing this text I, too, quite consciously exploited the position of privilege granted to the written word within our culture. Since it is impossible for me to go beyond the 'limits' of this society (quite obviously I am a part of it), I have chosen instead to make what I perceive as its 'limits' visible (this is a tactic I adopted throughout the Festival Of Plagiarism).


9: This bibliography includes all feature length articles of which I am aware that have been published in English and which relate directly to any of the Festivals Of Plagiarism; it omits published writing in languages other than English and short commentaries appended to listings of plagiarist events as carried in a variety of magazines.

Further information