Culture Code-X


Image for Ultra-Drama

“La Usurpadora” — one of many telenovelas broadcast on Univision

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.

Mexico Grand Prix 2019

ULTRA-DRAMA” NORM: A sense that Mexico enjoys operatic expressions of emotion, and melodramatic stories.

Hellboy comic celebrating Lucha libre

ULTRA-DRAMA” FORMS: Stereotypically, Mexico enjoys the “pink” telenovela — melodramatic love stories, without much or any complex social commentary. Lucha libre, too, offers passion plays in which the battle of good vs. evil is dramatized. Frequent use of scarlet red and jet black.

From a 2021 study of “Mexican-ness” codes — as perceived in US culture.

Tags: CODE-X, Mexico