WordPress 2.6.1 upgrade (and Paul McCarthy)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Today spiral::notepad was upgraded to WordPress 2.6.1 (released yesterday). Everything basically looks the same, but now I’m current again with bug fixes, security patches and enhancements. Except I had to disable post revision in Wordpress 2.6 (and disable/delay autosave), because all of that version tracking-related database clutter/bloat drives me crazy. Of course I still haven’t added most of my old pre-WordPress blog entries, from June 2002 to February 2007.

Complex Shit by Paul McCarthy Here’s an amusing headline from a couple of days ago: “Giant dog turd wreaks havoc at Swiss museum.” The Guardian newspaper reports: “A giant inflatable dog turd created by the American artist Paul McCarthy was blown from its moorings at a Swiss museum, bringing down a power line and breaking a window before landing in the grounds of a children’s home.” The Zentrum Paul Klee also describes the work: “Paul McCarthy will be subverting the otherwise harmonious landscape sculpture of the Zentrum Paul Klee with his installation Complex Shit – a giant pile of dog faeces.”

My man, Paul McCarthy. He’s one of several contemporary artists I especially enjoyed studying in art history classes. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about American artists Jeff Koons, Mike Kelley, and Paul McCarthy, Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, and Canadian Aboriginal artist Brian Jungen . . . specifically, how they use/subvert mass-produced commodities and represent the “cute” commodification of animals, cultures, and objects in their works. Their art often features anthropomorphized playthings and the appropriation of objects from popular culture.

Paul McCarthy is arguably most famous for his 1970s and 1980s performance art involving the violent and comic use of rubber masks, toys, and food-based props. In the Paul McCarthy at Tate Modern exhibition catalog (2003), McCarthy says: “To put an un-refined clumsy appearing object into art is a political act.”

Which reminds me of this quote, in which South Park co-creator Matt Stone is talking about Team America: World Police:

We’re just telling people to lighten up and not take themselves too seriously. What are my politics? Setting a puppet on fire. That’s my politics.
–Matt Stone, USA Today, October 11, 2004

See quotedump.com for many more quotes I’ve collected.

A friend sent me this comic strip archive I’d never seen before, Buttercup Festival by David Troupes (AKA Elliott G. Garbauskas). He also created Green Evening Stories. This year, Troupes started Buttercup Festival Series II, a new webcomic. I really like his work.

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