Culture Code-X

Heart on Sleeve

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"Roma" (2018) poster

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.

Bohemia beer social — toasting the anniversary of the revolution

HEART ON SLEEVE” NORM: Mexicans don’t repress or conceal their emotions; they live with passion. This comes perilously close to a cliché about Mexicans being “hot-blooded,” or less civilized… but as shown here, it’s a common trope in Mexican brand advertising and culture/sports as seen in the US.

Tecate commercial

HEART ON SLEEVE” FORMS: Arms in the air, singing and shouting. Arms around your friends. Quick to laugh and cry. Not playing it cool or safe — e.g., the Dos Equis “interesting man” is interesting because he has truly lived. “If you didn’t use your back-up plan you played it too safe.”

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

Tags: CODE-X, Mexico