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时尚界的混搭也就是另一种创造

2014-02-12    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Ninety-seven years ago, a young French artist walked across Manhattan into 118 Fifth Avenue, an outlet for J L Mott Iron Works. Perhaps tickled by the prank he was about to play, Marcel Duchamp purchased a Bedfordshire urinal. Returning to his studio, he signed it on the rim, “R. Mutt 1917”, and gave it a title: “Fountain”. The date - a day late, perhaps? - was April 2.

97年前,一位年轻的法国艺术家穿过美国纽约市的曼哈顿,走进J•L•莫特铁制品厂(J L Mott Iron Works)位于第五大道118号的一家销售店。马塞尔•杜尚(Marcel Duchamp)也许正为他要玩的恶作剧开心不已:他买了一个贝德福德郡小便池。回到工作室后,他在小便池边上签署了“R. Mutt 1917”的字样,并为这个作品起了个名字——“泉”(Fountain)。那一天的日期是4月2日。

Duchamp's “Fountain” vanished almost immediately; perhaps thrown away, perhaps smashed to pieces by the outraged committee at the Society of Independent Artists, which had opened an exhibition to all comers only to find Duchamp calling its bluff. Yet as we know, the story does not end there.

杜尚的《泉》差不多很快就消失了,也许它被扔掉了,也许被独立艺术家协会(Society of Independent Artists)怒不可遏的委员们打成碎片了——该委员会为所有提交作品者举行了一次展览,却遭到了杜尚的公然挑战。不过,正如我们所知道的,故事并未到此结束。

“Fountain” was copied: 15 replicas adorn art galleries, each endorsed by Duchamp. But more interesting are the transformations of “Fountain” that produce something new - for instance, Andy Warhol's “Campbell's Soup Cans” or Pablo Picasso's “Bull's Head”, to say nothing of the idea that a work of art could be just that: an idea.

《泉》被复制了:共有15件复制品,被各个画廊收藏,每件复制品都是由杜尚授权制作的。不过,更有意思的是,《泉》的变形形式带来了一些新的东西——比如安迪•沃霍尔(Andy Warhol)的《金宝罐头汤》(Campbell's Soup Cans)和巴勃罗•毕加索(Pablo Picasso)的《牛头》(Bull's Head)。且不提“一件艺术品就是一个创意”这种观念了。

It has become fashionable to assert - as the writer and director Kirkby Ferguson has done in his films - that “everything is a remix”. All creative acts, he says, copy, combine and transform earlier ideas. It's a convincing thesis. Gutenberg's printing press was inspired by a wine press, while Apple's Macintosh borrowed from Xerox's Alto, Nirvana's “Smells Like Teen Spirit” transforms a riff from Boston's “More Than A Feeling” and George Lucas's Star Wars owes a debt to Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress.

如今,声称“一切都是混搭”——正如编剧兼导演柯克比•弗格森(Kirkby Ferguson)在其电影中所做的那样——已经成了一种时髦。弗格森说,所有创作行为都是对先有创意的复制、结合和转变。这是一个有说服力的论点。古登堡(Gutenberg)印刷机的灵感来自葡萄酒榨汁机,苹果(Apple)的麦金塔电脑(Macintosh)借用了施乐(Xerox)阿尔托(Alto)的创意,涅槃乐队(Nirvana)的《少年心气》(Smells Like Teen Spirit)把波士顿乐队的《超越感觉》(More Than A Feeling)中的一个重复段落做了变形,而乔治•卢卡斯(George Lucas)的《星球大战》(Star Wars)构思来源于黑泽明(Akira Kurosawa)的《战国英豪》(The Hidden Fortress)。

But what is it about an idea that makes it remixable? It's worth distinguishing between an idea that provokes lots of derivative work, and one that inspires something new and exciting. “Fountain” did both but perhaps there's a trade-off between fecundity and the ability to inspire original successors. “Apache” by the Incredible Bongo Band has been much sampled but hardly inspired a generation in the way that the Velvet Underground did.

不过,到底是什么令一种创意可以混搭?在这里,应该区分两种不同创意,一种创意引发一系列衍生性作品,另一种创意则能启发某些新的激动人心的东西。《泉》两种特点兼而有之,但也许在衍生性和启迪原创继承者的能力之间有所取舍。非凡邦戈乐队(Incredible Bongo Band)的《阿帕奇》(Apache)曾被大量借鉴,然而它并未象地下天鹅绒乐队(Velvet Underground)那样启迪一代人。

Andres Monroy-Hernandez, now a researcher at Microsoft, and Benjamin Mako Hill, a hacker and researcher at the University of Washington, have conjectured that there may be a “remixing dilemma“: the elements that encourage people to appropriate and adapt a previous work are, alas, not conducive to originality in the new work.

微软(Microsoft)研究员安德烈斯•蒙罗伊-埃尔南德斯(Andres Monroy-Hernandez)和黑客、华盛顿大学(University of Washington)研究员本杰明•马科•希尔(Benjamin Mako Hill)认为,或许存在一种“混搭困境”:早先的艺术品中鼓励人们借用并修改的元素,不利于新艺术品的原创性。

Mako Hill and Monroy-Hernandez suggest that an idea that is fairly simple, that comes from an already-famous creator, and that is itself a remix, will tend to spawn many imitators. But these are precisely the qualities - moderate simplicity, notoriety and being part of a chain of remixes - that might reduce the originality of further derivative work.

马科•希尔和蒙罗伊-埃尔南德斯提出,如果一个创意相当简单,来自一个已成名的创作者,而且本身是一种混搭,那么它很可能催生许多模仿者。然而,可能正是这些特质(适度简约,名声响亮,而且是某个混搭链条的一环)可能会降低衍生作品的原创性。

Mako Hill and Monroy-Hernandez have tested their hypotheses in one particular setting, Scratch, a child-friendly programming language with a strong community. Scratch programmers are encouraged to share their programs and to use those of others as a basis for further work. A rich dataset is available, allowing the researchers to compare the complexity, popularity and (to some extent) the originality of programs shared on the site.

马科•希尔和蒙罗伊-埃尔南德斯以面向儿童的编程语言Scratch为对象,测试了自己的假说。Scratch具有强大的社区支持,编程者被鼓励分享他们的程序,并被鼓励利用他人程序作为进一步开发的基础。该语言提供了一个海量数据集合,令研究人员能够比较网上所分享程序的复杂度、受欢迎程度,以及(在某种程度上)原创性。

In Scratch, there does seem to be a remixing trade-off: more famous community members find their work remixed a lot - often in trivial ways; the same is true for already-remixed projects. But the trade-off is less apparent on the important metric of complexity. More complex programs are remixed more often, yet also with more originality, than simple ones. This is surprising given the conventional wisdom in open-source software that it is best to release simple, early versions to encourage the community to improve on them.

在Scratch中,混搭似乎确实存在取舍:比较有名的社区成员的程序被混搭了许多次——往往是以琐碎的方式;那些原本就是混搭的项目也存在这种现象。不过,在复杂度这个重要指标上,这种取舍表现得不那么明显。比较复杂的程序被混搭的次数更多,而这些混搭也比简单程序更具原创性。这一点让人意外,因为在开源软件领域有一种“传统智慧”:最好尽早发布简单的早期版本,鼓励社区加以改进。

Then again, Duchamp's idea could hardly have been simpler - and nobody could suggest that subsequent artists have ignored it.

可话说回来,杜尚的创意恐怕简单得不能再简单,但没人敢说后代的艺术家忽略了它。



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