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“同一片天空”的明信片

The mystery of the "same sky" postcards

This is James Brouwer.
这是詹姆斯•布劳威尔
He lives in British Columbia, Canada.
他住在加拿大不列颠哥伦比亚省
He’s a collector…
他是一位收藏家……
Of records,
收藏唱片
photographs,
收藏照片
Vintage picture frames.
收藏老式相框
“All sorts of visual imagery and ephemera….”
“各种视觉意象和瞬间……”
He also collects postcards.
他还收藏明信片
They’re in these boxes.
都放在这些箱子里
“And I’m sort of obsessive about this in my collecting.
“我对收藏明信片尤为痴迷
I like that sort of visual arrangement of sameness,
我喜欢那种相同的视觉排列
repeating itself in different contexts.
在不同的环境背景下重复
It could be anything from a figure standing in front of a mountain
可以是任何场景 人站在山前
and you see another one with a figure standing on a mountain
另一种是人站在山上
and a figure standing in front of a field.
还有一种是人站在田野前
And pretty soon you start collecting onlooker postcards.”
很快你就开始收集这种旁观者角度的明信片”
The onlookers are cool.
看起来确实很不错
But this story isn’t about them.
但是这个视频并不是要讲它们
It’s about a type of image
而要讲另一种 詹姆斯一开始
James didn’t even realize he was collecting at first.
甚至没意识到自己在收集的明信片
“I think when I got home and started more and more going through my collection
“我回到家 开始愈发频繁地浏览自己的收藏
and putting images together that I’m like…
把这些明信片放在一起 你就会发现……
you just see it.”
一目了然”
It’s the same sky.
这是同一片天空
In Alberta, Canada.
加拿大的阿尔伯特
Redlands, California.
加州的雷德兰兹
And Juarez, Mexico.
墨西哥的华雷斯
“I think what grabs in my mind is
“我觉得我脑海中所能捕捉到的
that part of the cloud at the very far end
就是最远端那片云
looks like a little mouth of a creature.”
看起来像小动物的嘴
It’s something your brain grabs on to.”
这就是你大脑会捕捉到的画面”
Once you see it, the images suddenly take on
一旦你注意到这点 这些图像突然间
a sort of, uncanny quality.
笼上一种神秘的色彩
So why would someone go through all the trouble
为什么会有人费尽心血
to make these places look the same?
让这些地方看起来一样呢?
Vox暗房系列
This story started back in January.
故事始于2021年1月
When Estelle, she produces Vox Earworm
埃斯特尔创制Vox Earworm栏目
and has made some of your favorite Vox videos,
她制作并上传了一些优秀的Vox视频
sent me a link on Slack.
并在Slack上把链接发给了我
“Anyway, if you ever want to do a darkroom
“总之 如果你想在暗房系列视频做一期
on postcards… this one is cool,
与明信片相关的 这种就很棒
it’s the same stock sky on every postcard.”
每张明信片的天空都是相同的”
It brought me to this Flickr page.
点击链接可前往Flickr主页
And I sent a message asking about the same sky postcards.
于是我私信询问了同一片天空明信片的事
嗨 你好 我很乐意探讨
I met James over Zoom.
我视频连线了詹姆斯
“I have them grouped with that little bit of cloud
“我把它们和那一小块朝向另外方向的云
facing the other direction.
明信片整理在一起
Sometimes they shift it a little bit
有时这些云会稍有变化
so that distinctive cloud formation is sometimes
这片独特的云
a bit off to the left or a bit off to the right.
有时偏左 有时偏右
Sometimes it hugs the top of the frame
有时贴着明信片的顶部
sometimes it’s more in the middle of the frame.”
有时更偏向于在中间”
There’s actually a couple of sky photos that
实际上 在詹姆斯收藏的几张天空照中
get repeated with slight position shifts in James’s collection.
重复出现的云 在位置上发生了轻微的变化
And it’s pretty clear that these skies were not part of the original photos.
显而易见 这些天空不是原照片的一部分
There’s the one James says looks like a sea creature.
詹姆斯说这个看起来像海洋生物
And one with a cloud that sort of reminds me of the shape of Cuba. Sort of.
这块云让我想起地图上古巴的形状 有点像
Anyway, once I started looking for those skies
不管怎样 我刚开始寻找这些天空时
I came across them pretty easily on eBay
很容易就在ebay
and in antique stores in Brooklyn.
以及布鲁克林的古董店里找到了
I began building my own small collection of same-skies.
我开始自己收集同一片天空的明信片
But I wanted to go see James’s original collection.
但我想看看詹姆斯最开始的收藏品
So it was at this point that I got on a plane to
于是当即登上飞机
beautiful British Columbia.
前往美丽的不列颠哥伦比亚省
Daaamn.
终于到了
“So yeah, I just started scanning them, cropping them
“所以我开始扫描 裁剪这些明信片
and putting them up on Flickr.
并把它们放在Flickr网站上
And now I think there’s about eleven thousand of them uploaded.”
现在我猜大概上传了1.1万张”
“So there’s advertising, old age homes, windows, wax museums.
“有关于广告 养老院 窗户 蜡像馆的
There’s some really strange wax museums
还有一些非常奇怪的蜡像馆
that are nicely preserved in postcards
完好地保存在明信片中
and probably nowhere else.”
可能也保存在其他某个地方”
The bulk of James’s collection are what’s known as “chrome-era postcards”.
詹姆斯大部分收藏是“chrome时期明信片”
“So a chrome card denotes some particular period of postcard production,
“chrome明信片是指明信片生产的某些特殊时期
postwar, from the late 40s through to the present,
二战以后 四十年代末至今
essentially, with glossy color photographs.
拍的照片基本上都是有光泽的彩色照片
And it takes its name from Kodachrome.”
名字取自柯达彩色胶片”
Kodachrome was the first commercially viable full color film,
柯达彩色胶片是第一种具有商业价值的全彩胶卷
introduced by Kodak in 1935.
于1935年由柯达推出
These types of postcards, taken with the new color film,
这种采用新型彩色胶卷拍摄的明信片
circulated widely in North America
于20世纪40年代到70年代间
in the 1940s through the 1970s.
在北美广泛流传
With branding on the back like:
明信片背面印有:
“Plastichrome, Lusterchrome, things like that.
“Plastichrome Lusterchrome等字样
Always with that word “chrome.”
总是带有chrome这个单词
To denote the shine and the gloss that you see
用以表示你在这些明信片上看到的
on these postcards and the punchy color.”
闪亮度 光泽度以及具有冲击力的色彩
By the time James started collecting in the 1980s,
20世纪80年代詹姆斯开始收集时
the glossy, mid-century chrome cards
有光泽的中世纪chrome明信片
were just piled up in flea markets, largely overlooked.
就已经堆满跳蚤市场 多数不受重视
“The postwar cards were considered more junky.
“人们认为战后明信片没什么价值
It was something easy to collect for the cheap.
所以战后明信片容易低价收集到
And I’m like, sure I’ll grab that.
我就想着 我要收集
Looks cool, looks cool, looks cool.
这张很棒 那张也棒
And pretty soon I’d amassed a lot of it.
很快我就积攒了很多
And I don’t think I ever noticed at the time that
我觉得我当时都没意识到
I was grabbing the cards that had”
我得到的明信片
the exact same sky repeated in different contexts.”
在不同的地点有着同一片天空”
There’s a few things we know about the same-sky postcards.
关于这种明信片 我们有一些了解了
Namely, that they all came from the same place.
也就是说 它们都出自同一个地方
“It appears that these same sky postcards are
“这些同一天空明信片似乎都来自
all from one publishing company: Dexter Press.”
同一家出版社:德克斯特出版社”
Dexter Press was one of the largest postcard manufacturers
该出版社是chrome时期
in the world during the chrome era.
世界上最大的明信片制造商之一
And looking into their history
研究其历史
provides a clue about the same sky postcards.
我们可以找到关于这种明信片的线索
It was founded by this guy, Thomas A. Dexter,
该出版社由一个叫托马斯•德克斯特的人
in Pearl River, New York.
在纽约珍珠河创立
And, according to the back of this postcard
据1986版《全美明信片周》中
from National Post Card Week ‘86,
这张明信片背后的介绍
Dexter was printing 4 million cards
该出版社在高峰期间
a day at their peak,
每天印刷四百万张明信片
and pioneered the so-called
并开创了所谓的
“Natural Color” printing process.
“自然色”印刷工艺
“Natural Color” referred to a mechanical process
“自然色”印刷工艺指的是印刷过程中
of printing postcards from color photographs.
采用彩色照片的自然色
“So it might be that this particular publishing company
“这家出版公司这么做可能是
had some reason to do it.
出于某个特别的原因
It might be that it had a lot of visual punch this white and the blue.
用蓝天白云可能是因为有很强的视觉冲击
Maybe they thought that’d enlivened the image.”
又或许是因为这可以让图像生动”
Or it might have something to do with the company’s other innovation.
又或许与公司其他创新想法有关
Dexter patented a process called “gang printing,”
该出版社申请了一项“联产印刷”的专利
which upped their printing capacity
这提高了他们的印刷产能
and enabled them to take on print orders for smaller postcard publishers.
使他们可以接受小出版社的印刷订单
“Maybe they thought it was some strange way of
“也许他们将此视为一种
marking Dexter Press’s visual territory.
标记出版社视觉领域的奇怪方式
Like a little signature of sorts that no one would notice.”
就像一个没人会注意到的小签名”
And I’m going to be honest,
说实话
that’s the explanation I was hoping we’d end up with.
我希望我们最终可以得到这样的解释
That this was…
就是……
…a sort of little trademark that
这是一种商标
Dexter would slide in to make it a Dexter image.
出版社将它插进去以代表自己的形象
Do you think that’s a possibility?
你觉得这有可能吗?
“No.”
“不可能”
After talking to James, I called Bill Burton.
和詹姆斯聊完后 我打给了比尔•伯顿
He’s the publisher of the online magazine Postcard History,
他是在线期刊《明信片历史》的出版商
and I sent over two same-sky postcards
我把两张同一片天空明信片寄给他
to ask him what he thinks.
并询问他的看法
And his explanation made a lot of sense.
他对此的解释很有道理
“Dexter was the go-to guy
“印刷chrome明信片的关键
to print chrome postcards.
就是德克斯特
He had very large presses,
他有很大的印刷机
and he could print them at very high speeds.
直接能以非常高的速度印刷明信片
He had a big art department.
他有一个很大的艺术部门
He would offer to photo-correct any problems in the image.”
图片中有任何问题 该部门都会予以纠正”
So if the sky for whatever reason didn’t look the way a customer wanted it to…
所以如果天空因某种原因不如顾客所愿
“The artist would cut out a mask
“艺术家会沿着电线杆向上
that would just go right up the telephone pole
经过电线杆顶部再向下
and across it and down and along the roofline or whatever it was.
沿着屋顶或其他东西剪下来
Then you would put the sky behind it
然后把已有的天空p到后面
and you’d match the two of them up.
这两部分就合二为一了
These two cards have the same image in the sky
这两张明信片就有着同一片天空
because they had stock images of skies.
因为它们用的是同一张天空的照片
And most people wouldn’t have known the difference.
大多数人不会察觉到其中的差异
I mean, who goes to a store, buys three postcards
谁去商店买三张明信片
and then grabs a magnifying glass and looks at what they got?
会拿放大镜仔细查看自己买的明信片呢?
Nobody.”
没有人”
Well there is one person.
不过确实有一个人
“And I still collect them and I still love them
“我仍在收集且仍喜欢它们
and I still am a champion of the chrome-era postcard.”
我仍是chrome时期明信片的拥护者”
Dexter Press is long gone.
德克斯特出版社已不复存在
And there’s really no way to know for sure why they replaced some skies
我们无法确切得知为什么他们替换部分天空
and seemingly left others untouched.
却又似乎保留了其他天空
But they probably never anticipated that somebody,
但他们可能从未料想到
someday, would put them all together.
有人在将来的某一天会把它们摆在一起
“To me, it’s not so much the grand mystery
“对我来说 他们这么做的原因
of why they did it
并不是什么难解之谜
because I think visually it creates
因为我认为 从视觉上看
something really remarkable.
这真的很了不起
These cards that are meant to denote a particular place…”
这些明信片意指某个特定的地方……”
Like Grand Teton, Wyoming.
比如怀俄明州的大提顿
Or McLeod’s Lake, British Columbia.
或不列颠哥伦比亚省的麦克劳德湖
“…When taken en masse,
“当你把它们放在一起时
the differences get washed away.
差异就消弭了
And so you get this sort of typology or type
所以你就可以得到这种
that floats above the particulars beneath.”
浮于下面这些细节之上的意象”
And these images, which are often pretty bland on their own,
这些图像本身通常平平无奇
transform into something new.
以此方式却可转化成新东西
“And it’s very obvious with the same sky pictures,
“很显然它们用的是同一片天空
You’ve got something arbitrary,
你得到一些任意组合
like an amalgamation of clouds,
就像云的融合一样
they start repeating and gaining a strange significance
开始重复 然后借助这种重复
just by virtue of being repeated.
获得一种奇特的意义
It makes the card not just what it is.
使它不再仅仅是明信片
It becomes something else.”
还带有其他特别意义”
James mentioned a couple of figures from the art world
詹姆斯在视频中提到了几位
that inspired the look of his collection.
在艺术界就其收藏品外观给予启发的人
Including pop artist Andy Warhol.
包括流行艺术家安迪•沃霍尔
Whose wall of Campbell’s soup cans
他的作品《金宝汤罐头》
and colorful portraits of thee rich and famous,
和丰富多彩的富人名人肖像画
you might recognize.
你肯定见过
And two conceptual artists I didn’t know about,
还有两位概念派艺术家我并不熟悉
but I’m glad I do now:
不过现在有幸得知:
Bernd and Hilla Becher.
伯尔尼和希拉•贝歇尔
Who photographed industrial architecture in Western Europe starting in the 1950s.
他们于20世纪50年代开始拍摄西欧的工业建筑
Their whole thing was about form and sequencing too.
他们的作品也是有关形态与排列的
“And the beautiful way they were arranged
“这些建筑排列的方式很美
so that the type of imagery would repeat
意象看似重复
with small differences in between,
其间却有细微差别
and just the visual impact of that is incredible.
光是视觉冲击力就令人难以置信
So I sort of wanted to reproduce that.”
我也想复刻这种效果了”
There’s a link to James’s full collection online
本视频介绍中提到的詹姆斯所有的线上收藏
in the description of this video.
均可在链接中浏览
Plus a couple of links that I found helpful
如果你想自己研究明信片
if you want to do some postcard research of your own.
其他几个链接会给你提供帮助
Thanks for watching
谢谢观看

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视频概述

詹姆斯•布劳威尔是一个收藏家,在他收藏明信片时,发现一些来自不同地方的明信片,却出乎意料有着同一片天空。视频向我们介绍了詹姆斯探索这个同一天空之谜的过程,向我们揭示为什么不同明信片会有同一片天空。快来看看吧!

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Polaris

审核员

审核员VS

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgpQXz34bqs

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