Screenshot AFC. Please note that the screen shot of Noah Fischer’s interview is unrelated to this post. It is however well worth the read.
Writer and blogger Catherine Spaeth discovered ArtLurker editor Thomas Hollingworth plagiarized some of her work a week and a half ago and is not happy about it. I’m a bit of a link Nazi myself so can’t say I blame her, though I think her description of magazines who don’t fire these writers as failing “to live up to their insider credibility in hiring inexperienced and unethical writers” speaks to a different issue. Frankly, I find the idea that a critic needs to be entrenched in the art world to be effective a little offensive. The last thing the art world needs is a further whittling down of who is qualified enough to speak about the profession. To be fair though, I’m guessing Spaeth’s repeated mention of insider importance is the result of annoyance inspired by M: The New York Art World, a third party publisher of her plagiarized work, whose self description reads “an insider’s source for credible news”. Insider indeed.
Meanwhile I spoke to Thomas Hollingworth about the subject last week, who expressed regret for his mistake. I asked him why ArtLurker had removed the post without a public apology and he explained that since the blog was made up of many contributors he felt they should not suffer for his mistakes. Given that the blog was founded by Hollingworth and the standard procedure of magazines and professional publishing houses is to publicly address issues of plagiarism I don’t see how this line of logic makes any sense. Even though the piece wasn’t written for the blog it was republished there. It seems best to just place a post acknowledging the misstep and move on.
At this point though I can’t imagine that will happen. Spaeth has written three sanctimonious posts on the subject complaining that her prose were bastardized, calling Hollingworth “the plagiarist”, and even taking issue with Artlurker’s verbatim and attributed reposting of Michael Kimmelman’s writing. (As long as a link is given who cares. The evil world of the Associated Press here.) Should Hollingworth address the issue (and he should), he now has three posts worth of shots taken at him to put aside plus a few shaky Spaeth positions on larger issues to discuss.