The CODE-X series catalogs a vast codex of source codes (aka “signs”) extracted from past audits.
The object of study in semiotics is not the signs but rather a general theory of signification; the goal of each “audit” is to build a model demonstrating how meaning is produced and received within a category or cultural territory. Signs on their own, therefore, only become truly revelatory and useful once we’ve sorted them into thematic complexes, and the complexes into codes, and the codes into a meaning map. We call this process “thick description”; the Code-X series is thin description.
“ICON MODE” NORM: Today’s icons slip in and out of poses, costumes, and expressions of past icons — putting their own spin on “it” (as in: it-factor). The timelessness test, it seems, involves projecting today’s icons backward in time to see whether or not they can pass in that context.
“ICON MODE” FORMS: Ryan Reynolds, Lady Gaga, Shawn Mendes, other superstar actors and musicians, costumed, blocked, and shot in the style of Old Hollywood, or a Sixties album cover, etc.
From a 2020 audit — for a leading gin brand — of Super Premium-ness.