Culture Code-X

Making Do

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Artwork by Jamaica's Xayvier Haughton.

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.

MAKING DO” NORM: Scrappy, surviving by our wits, hustling.

MAKING DO” FORMS: Making good use of whatever we have to hand — recycling, upcycling “Scratch” – like Jamaican reggae great Lee “Scratch” Perry – sense of doing things from scratch, scratching by. Higgling, Samfi Man, John Crow.

From a 2019 audit of the cultural territory “Jamaican-ness.”

Tags: CODE-X, Female Empowerment, Femininity