The Retraction: Wooster Collective Follow-up

by Art Fag City on April 20, 2010 · 30 comments Events

POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
art fag city, banksy, exit through the gift shop
Still from Exit Through the Gift Shop

I made a mistake. Yesterday I wrote a post complaining that Marc Schiller had received payment for the marketing he did for Exit Through The Gift Shop, a documentary on the street artist Banksy, when in fact he had not. John Sloss, the man heading up the film’s distribution with Producers Distribution Agency, confirmed this to be the case this afternoon over email.

In all fairness to Schiller, I would have done better to have just taken his word for it Sunday night, rather than jump to the conclusion that his claim had to be false. Truth be told, it never occurred to me that anyone would so aggressively promote a movie over twitter and Wooster Collective without payment. I was wrong. In my opinion though, it’s disrespectful to bombard readers coming to Schiller’s blog for street art with non-stop Banksy action.

I said this to Schiller over the phone this morning, which frankly didn’t win me any points, especially within the larger context of an apology. I did however eventually manage to communicate my regret for publishing an inaccurate conflict of interest claim. As far as I can tell from our conversation, Schiller’s worst crime is being an uber annoying fan boy who’s over zealous promotion left a sour taste in the mouths of many.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    If it was anything other than Banksy it might seem cruel to berate someone for excessive blog and twitter promotion. No one has to visit these sites. The whole Banksy thing has smelled funny from Day One, though. A street renegade who supposedly shuns promotion but is clearly as media savvy as Warhol. Without the compelling art to go with it. A career that seems like an escalating series of stunts designed to put a silly name on everybody’s lips. I’m tired of it and wish it would stop.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    If it was anything other than Banksy it might seem cruel to berate someone for excessive blog and twitter promotion. No one has to visit these sites. The whole Banksy thing has smelled funny from Day One, though. A street renegade who supposedly shuns promotion but is clearly as media savvy as Warhol. Without the compelling art to go with it. A career that seems like an escalating series of stunts designed to put a silly name on everybody’s lips. I’m tired of it and wish it would stop.

  • http://justinsimoni.com Justin Simoni

    So, he’s a wacky weirdo that’s passionate about art, that some find annoying but will work, for free, to promote artists ? nnnWe need more of that. Everywhere. Instead of less.

  • http://justinsimoni.com Justin Simoni

    So, he’s a wacky weirdo that’s passionate about art, that some find annoying but will work, for free, to promote artists ? \n\n\nWe need more of that. Everywhere. Instead of less.

  • watcher

    Bah you should have stuck to your original post, it was a refreshing break from the swathes of hype the have followed this film’s US debut like a bad smell.

    Even if there might not have been any financial incentives at work for S(c)hiller spamming Banksy propaganda directly, think about it this way: By driving traffic to his site/admining the facebook Banksy film page/being quoted in established media articles relating to the film/photographed with other VIPS at the premiere/etc/etc/etc, he’s effectively using his name/woostercollective.com to monetize in other avenues – and they are certainly happening prevalently.

    No doubt he was utterly charming on the phone to you, and might have had contact with Banksy and been briefed about the film before most, that doesn’t make him any less accountable.

    Hope he’s paid close attention to FTC blogging guidelines as his particular card may well now be marked.

  • watcher

    Bah you should have stuck to your original post, it was a refreshing break from the swathes of hype the have followed this film’s US debut like a bad smell.

    Even if there might not have been any financial incentives at work for S(c)hiller spamming Banksy propaganda directly, think about it this way: By driving traffic to his site/admining the facebook Banksy film page/being quoted in established media articles relating to the film/photographed with other VIPS at the premiere/etc/etc/etc, he’s effectively using his name/woostercollective.com to monetize in other avenues – and they are certainly happening prevalently.

    No doubt he was utterly charming on the phone to you, and might have had contact with Banksy and been briefed about the film before most, that doesn’t make him any less accountable.

    Hope he’s paid close attention to FTC blogging guidelines as his particular card may well now be marked.

  • Jesse P. Martin

    I’ve never trusted it when a person claims to be doing something “street.” This distrust explodes exponentially when that person is white. A bunch of white guys involved in the (re)tweeting-facebook-(re)blogging-socialnetworkclusterfucking of a lot of covert/overt “street”/commercial graffiti/art makes me want to shove pencils in my eyes. That one *wouldn’t* get paid to do so actually makes it somehow all the more offensive to me.

  • Jesse P. Martin

    I’ve never trusted it when a person claims to be doing something “street.” This distrust explodes exponentially when that person is white. A bunch of white guys involved in the (re)tweeting-facebook-(re)blogging-socialnetworkclusterfucking of a lot of covert/overt “street”/commercial graffiti/art makes me want to shove pencils in my eyes. That one *wouldn’t* get paid to do so actually makes it somehow all the more offensive to me.

  • greg,org

    Kudos to Paddy for correcting herself, but also for asking the questions and voicing the doubts she had in the first place.

    I think Marc’s got too much credibility and commitment to street art–much of it unsung or quickly lost except/until WC came along–to be considered just a fanboy.

    But there are plenty of actual surreptitious corporate co-optations of street art, and plenty of art world shenanigans involving Banksy, that skepticism & questions are part of the landscape.

  • greg,org

    Kudos to Paddy for correcting herself, but also for asking the questions and voicing the doubts she had in the first place.

    I think Marc’s got too much credibility and commitment to street art–much of it unsung or quickly lost except/until WC came along–to be considered just a fanboy.

    But there are plenty of actual surreptitious corporate co-optations of street art, and plenty of art world shenanigans involving Banksy, that skepticism & questions are part of the landscape.

  • guero

    he is such a fanboy. perhaps no conflict of interest, but annoying for sure.

  • guero

    he is such a fanboy. perhaps no conflict of interest, but annoying for sure.

  • http://www.chamuconegro.com michael anderson

    Marc and Sara are of the highest potential credibelievanlity.
    Who might care anyway?

  • http://www.chamuconegro.com michael anderson

    Marc and Sara are of the highest potential credibelievanlity.
    Who might care anyway?

  • Samson White

    you’re all so quick to let paddy off the hook. what she did was uncool.

  • Samson White

    you’re all so quick to let paddy off the hook. what she did was uncool.

  • Howard Halle

    Paddy, I think it’s a testament to your integrity that you came right out and took responsibility for this instead of trying to cleverly “walk it back” like some critics might.

  • Howard Halle

    Paddy, I think it’s a testament to your integrity that you came right out and took responsibility for this instead of trying to cleverly “walk it back” like some critics might.

  • http://www.postmastersart.com magda sawon

    Hey Samson, Paddy is off the hook – at least with me – because she did a very menschy thing to correct a mistake (quickly) rather than dig herself deeper. Not many people do this. We live in twitter spam world and it is easy to get ticked off with such “enthusiasm” abuse regardless of motivation. So it was on the money (pun intended) to call Marc on this. Now I am actually hoping that with upcoming show of Shepard Fairey at Deitch she will go for content herself and do a piece on these two “street” artists. That would be digging deeper in a good way.

  • http://www.postmastersart.com magda sawon

    Hey Samson, Paddy is off the hook – at least with me – because she did a very menschy thing to correct a mistake (quickly) rather than dig herself deeper. Not many people do this. We live in twitter spam world and it is easy to get ticked off with such “enthusiasm” abuse regardless of motivation. So it was on the money (pun intended) to call Marc on this. Now I am actually hoping that with upcoming show of Shepard Fairey at Deitch she will go for content herself and do a piece on these two “street” artists. That would be digging deeper in a good way.

  • claire

    Agree with Samson: she SLANDERED someone. Not cool. And instead of apologizing nicely she calls the guy a fanboy in her retraction. There is nothing “responsible” about what went on here.

  • claire

    Agree with Samson: she SLANDERED someone. Not cool. And instead of apologizing nicely she calls the guy a fanboy in her retraction. There is nothing “responsible” about what went on here.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    @claire There’s nothing irresponsible about calling Schiller a fanboy in the retraction. It is not however, particularly character building.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    @claire There’s nothing irresponsible about calling Schiller a fanboy in the retraction. It is not however, particularly character building.

  • http://www.coagula.com Mat Gleason

    Does Schiller own art that is championed in this film? Does his incessant cheerleading (or shall we say, Schiller’s shilling) leverage his reputation in the industry to raise the value of his personal holdings?

    If the answer is anything in the gray area outside of “NO” than the discussion of a possible conflict of interest on the part Schiller is a reasonable subject for discussion in a contemporary art forum.

    And what is up with the thin skin on all these so-called “street” art people. I thought you were all so “fuckin cool”®

  • http://www.coagula.com Mat Gleason

    Does Schiller own art that is championed in this film? Does his incessant cheerleading (or shall we say, Schiller’s shilling) leverage his reputation in the industry to raise the value of his personal holdings?

    If the answer is anything in the gray area outside of “NO” than the discussion of a possible conflict of interest on the part Schiller is a reasonable subject for discussion in a contemporary art forum.

    And what is up with the thin skin on all these so-called “street” art people. I thought you were all so “fuckin cool”®

  • Will

    So Schiller wasn’t getting paid, but he probably should’ve been more forthright about his personal involvement in the Banksy film (i.e. volunteering for the film’s distribution company and curating the film’s intro)? It may not be the law and the ethics can be gray, but being upfront only benefits one’s integrity and their audience’s trust.

  • Will

    So Schiller wasn’t getting paid, but he probably should’ve been more forthright about his personal involvement in the Banksy film (i.e. volunteering for the film’s distribution company and curating the film’s intro)? It may not be the law and the ethics can be gray, but being upfront only benefits one’s integrity and their audience’s trust.

  • http://duanelinklater.com duane

    its funny that this editorial mishap is garnering more attention than Banksy’s movie, perhaps a testament to the film, just saying.

  • http://duanelinklater.com duane

    its funny that this editorial mishap is garnering more attention than Banksy’s movie, perhaps a testament to the film, just saying.

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