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让微笑经久不衰

The staying power of the smiley face
让微笑经久不衰
1046字
2019-09-24 12:23
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让微笑经久不衰

This article was published in partnership with Artsy, the global platform for discovering and collecting art. The original article can be seen here.

这篇文章是与全球艺术发现和收藏平台Artsy合作发表的。原文可以在这里看到。

In a video installation by James Joyce, a yellow circle rotates as two black ovals and a curved line tumble at the bottom, thwarted by gravity. Watching the video, Perseverance in the Face of Absurdity, which was projected at Banksy's pop-up dystopian theme park, Dismaland,in 2015, one can mentally reassemble the three shapes into their familiar formation: two eyes and a swooping smile.

在由詹姆斯·乔伊斯(James Joyce)制作一个视频装置中,一个黄色的圆圈旋转着,两个黑色的椭圆形和一条弯曲的线受到重力的阻碍在底部翻滚。2015年,在迪斯玛兰,班克西的弹出式反乌托邦主题公园播放了这段名为《面对荒谬的毅力》的视频。观看这段视频,你可以在脑海中把这三种形状重新组合成它们熟悉的形状:两只眼睛和一个迷人的微笑。

It's a testament to the symbol that it can be deconstructed to such a degree and yet still be immediately recognizable. There is no doubt that it's a smiley face, though it looks anything but happy.

这是对符号的证明,它可以被解构到这样的程度,但仍然可以立即识别出来。毫无疑问,这是一个笑脸,尽管它看起来一点也不快乐。

The yellow smiley icon was born in 1963 in Worcester, Massachusetts, when the graphic designer Harvey Ball was approached by State Mutual Life Assurance Company to create a morale booster for employees. As the story goes, it only took ten minutes for Ball to create an icon that would knit itself so firmly in the fabric of American culture that we'd be compelled to file lawsuits and contemplate it for decades to come. He was paid a whopping $45 for his work.

1963年,这个黄色的笑脸图标诞生于马萨诸塞州伍斯特市。当时,州立互助人寿保险公司接洽了平面设计师哈维·鲍尔(Harvey Ball),希望借由他的设计为员工鼓舞士气。故事是这样的:鲍尔只用了十分钟的时间就创造出了一个图标,并把美国文化的肌理深深融入其中,以至于我们不得不提起诉讼,在未来几十年里思考这个问题。他的工作报酬高达45美元。

For such an enduring image, the logic behind it is almost laughably simple. Ball is often quoted as saying to the Associated Press, "I made a circle with a smile for a mouth on yellow paper, because it was sunshiny and bright."

对于这样一个经久不衰的形象,其背后的逻辑几乎简单得可笑。鲍尔经常对美联社说:“我在黄色的纸上画了一个圆圈,配上微笑的嘴巴,因为它阳光灿烂。”

Photo of Harvey Ball from People Magazine, 1998.

Photo of Harvey Ball from People Magazine, 1998.

1998年《人物》杂志上刊登的哈维·鲍尔的照片。

Credit: Photo by Michael Carroll. Courtesy of People Magazine and the Worcester History Museum.

资料来源:迈克尔·卡罗尔的摄影照片。由《人物》杂志和伍斯特历史博物馆提供。

The company produced thousands of buttons and signs, setting the stage for Hallmark reps Bernard and Murray Spain to swoop in in the early 1970s and copyright the design with the slogan "Have a Happy Day." Just one year later, the French journalist Franklin Loufrani launched the Smiley Company, which grew into a global licensing giant.

该公司生产了数千个纽扣和标志,这为贺曼贺卡公司的代表伯纳德和默里·西班牙公司在20世纪70年代初的大举进军奠定了基础,并以“祝你有个快乐的一天”的宣传语为该设计申请了版权。就在一年后,法国记者富兰克林·卢弗朗尼(Franklin Loufrani)创办了Smiley公司,该公司后来成长为一家全球授权巨头。

At its core, the smiley is like any other symbol—a visual that has been assigned a specific meaning. Why have these symbols at all? Marcel Danesi, an anthropology and semiotics professor at the University of Toronto, said that symbols are like "little capsules [that] tell us what things are about—in our own terms." Not unlike language, they "form a kind of rhetorical system that undergirds a whole society. We live by symbols."

在图标的核心,这个笑脸就像任何其他的符号一样----一个被赋予特定含义的视觉符号。为什么会有这些符号呢?多伦多大学人类学和符号学教授马塞尔·达内西(Marcel Danesi)说,符号就像“一个小胶囊,用我们自己的语言告诉我们事物的本质。”与语言相似的是,它们“形成了一种支撑整个社会的修辞体系”。我们靠符号生活。”

The stability of this system is up for debate; symbols often exhibit the pliable quality of Play-Doh. On its face, the smiley is simple and feelgood, easy to learn and reproduce.

这个体系的稳定性有待商榷;符号常常表现出培乐多的柔韧性。在它的脸上,微笑是简单的,让人们感觉到快乐,容易学习和复制。

In the right context, it elicits that giddy childhood rush—the morale boost that inspired the image from the start. But stretched this way or that, the icon quickly becomes surreal. As Jon Savage penned for The Guardian in 2009, the smiley "presented such a fixed facade of childlike contentment that it was ripe for subversion."

在合适的背景下,它引发了令人眼花缭乱的童年冲动,这种冲动从一开始就激发了这幅画面的士气。但经过多方面延伸,这个图标很快就变得超现实了。正如乔恩·萨维奇在2009年为《卫报》所写的那样,笑脸“呈现出一种孩子般满足的固定外表,这样成熟的外衣已经成熟到可以颠覆社会。”

Over the years, the icon has been reimagined by bands like Nirvana and the Talking Heads, and it flourished in the rave culture of the '80s and '90s, imprinted on ecstasy pills and flyers for acid house DJs. Teen Vogue recently reported that "the playful symbol seems to be making a resurgence" in fashion, including on Marc Jacobs runways and in Justin Bieber's line, Drew House.

多年来,“涅盘”(Nirvana)和“会说话的脑袋”(Talking Heads)等乐队对这个图标进行了重新想象,它在上世纪八九十年代的狂欢文化中蓬勃发展,被印在药物的传单上。《青年时尚》杂志最近报道称,在时尚界,包括马克?雅可布(Marc Jacobs)的t台和贾斯汀?比伯(Justin Bieber)的品牌德鲁?豪斯(Drew House),“这个有趣的符号似乎正在复苏”。

The smiley has held a rare dual position as a countercultural icon and a paragon of American consumerism. The Smiley Company, which brought in $419.9 million in 2017, claims that the smiley is more than an icon, it's "a spirit and a philosophy." Though the company is global, this particular phrase strikes a very American chord. It presents an almost cult-like obsession with happiness—and what we can buy to achieve it.

作为反文化偶像和美国消费主义的典范,笑脸拥有罕见的双重身份。斯迈利公司在2017年创收4.199亿美元,该公司声称斯迈利不仅仅是一个图标,它是“一种精神和一种哲学”。虽然这家公司是全球性的,但这句话却引起了美国人的共鸣。它呈现出一种近乎邪教般的对幸福的痴迷---以及我们能买到什么来实现幸福。

When the icon appears in art, its meaning is often twisted or exaggerated. Nate Lowman has created childlike renderings of smileys, overlapped and colored outside the lines. Lowman, according to a 2012 New York Times profile by Jacob Bernstein, is "somewhat obsessed" with the face, "seeing in it a kind of collective mask—what he calls an 'anxious hysteria to appear happy.'"

当图标出现在艺术中,它的意思往往是扭曲或夸大。内特·洛曼(Nate Lowman)创作了童趣十足的笑脸渲染图,在线条之外重叠和着色。2012年《时代周刊》雅各布·伯恩斯坦(Jacob Bernstein)的一篇报道,洛曼对这张脸“有点着迷”,“在它身上看到了一种集体面具——他称之为‘为了显得开心而焦虑的歇斯底里’。”

Paintings by artist Nate Lowman are pictured during the exhibition "Empire State. New York art now" in Rome on April 22, 2013.

Paintings by artist Nate Lowman are pictured during the exhibition "Empire State. New York art now" in Rome on April 22, 2013.

2013年4月22日,艺术家纳特·洛曼的画作在罗马的“帝国大厦”展览中展出。。

Credit: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

来源:GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Various takes on the smiley have also appeared in Jacqueline Humphries's emoticon-inspired pieces, including :) :) :) :) (2016); Wesley Martin Berg's darkly comedic Medicate; Banksy's Grin Reaper (2005) and Flying Copper (2004); and Katsu's Facial Recognition Just Released from Jail (2015), among others. The DJ and producer Fatboy Slim, who showed his impressive catalog of smiley ephemera in the recent exhibition, Smile High Club, has said he sees it as a symbol of "happiness, goofiness, stupidity and unconditional life."

杰奎琳·汉弗莱斯(Jacqueline Humphries)的表情启发作品中也出现了对笑脸的各种诠释,包括:):):):)(2016);韦斯利·马丁·伯格的黑色喜剧药物;班克斯的《收割者》(2005)和《飞铜》(2004);Katsu的面部识别技术刚刚出狱(2015年)。DJ兼制作人法特博伊·斯利姆(Fatboy Slim)在最近的展览“微笑高俱乐部”(Smile High Club)上展示了他令人印象深刻的《微笑的短暂》(smiley ephemera)目录。他说,他把它视为“幸福、愚蠢、愚蠢和无条件的生活”的象征。

It's hard to talk about the smiley face without broaching the subject of emojis, which we sprinkle into everything from Instagram posts to work emails. The smiley is no longer a standalone icon, but a single character in a visual online language.

在谈论笑脸的时候,很难不提到表情符号这个话题。从Instagram上的帖子到工作邮件,表情符号无处不在。笑脸不再是一个独立的图标,而是在线视觉语言中的单个字符。

Meet the inventor of the emoji

来看看表情符号的发明者

Though the invention of emoticons is commonly credited to Shigetaka Kurita of the Japanese telecom company NTT Docomo, the primary set of yellow smilies bear an undeniable relation to Ball's original design. As more communication happens online, the smiley takes on a more nuanced range of emotions. It can be a stand-in for genuine happiness, or a balm for words that might otherwise sound harsh. The rise of emoticons has prompted a slew of studies and essays about the evolution of language online.

尽管表情符号的发明通常被归功于日本电信公司NTT Docomo的栗田重孝(Shigetaka Kurita),但主要的黄色笑脸与鲍尔的原始设计有着不可否认的关系。随着越来越多的交流发生在网上,笑脸的表情也变得更加微妙。它可以代表真正的幸福,也可以用来安慰那些听起来刺耳的话。表情符号的兴起引发了一系列关于网络语言演变的研究和论文。

Given its uncurtailed proliferation, will the smiley ever lose its value as a signifier? If it can mean everything, then, surely, it will mean nothing. Danesi, however, seemed unconcerned by this existential threat to the happy symbol. The more meaning we apply to it, he suggested, the more staying power it will have—even if we don't always know what to make of it. Or, even simpler: The smiley will persist because it's cute.

考虑到它的无限制扩散,笑脸是否会失去它作为一个符号的价值?如果它能代表一切,那么,毫无疑问,它将毫无意义。然而,达尼西似乎并不在意这种对幸福象征的存在威胁。他认为,我们赋予它的意义越多,它的生命力就会越强,即使我们并不总是知道如何利用它。或者,更简单:因为可爱,笑脸会一直保持。

Maybe, Danesi said with a laugh, he'll go find a smiley t-shirt to wear himself, "so that I can bring sunshine into people's lives." Ironic or not, that may be reason enough to smile.

也许,达内西笑着说,他会去找一件笑脸t恤穿上,“这样我就能给人们的生活带来阳光。”不管是否具有讽刺意味,这或许都足以让我们微笑。

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