Culture Code-X

Mexico Magic

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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 MAGIC” NORM: There is an undercurrent of magic and fantasy in the everyday life of Mexico. Although educated Americans may have associated the literary genre with Latin America as far back as the 1950s, we’re increasingly associating magical realism as an aesthetic with Mexican culture and branding too.

Mexico Tourism Board poster – “Fantasy comes to life in Mexico”

MEXICO MAGIC” FORMS: Shocking contrast of fantastical elements within real-world setting. Beneath the parsimonious surface of everyday life there is… plenitude. Dream logic — categories break down, hybridity is the norm. Heightened awareness of mystery, the sense that life, the world, the universe are strange and wonderful.

From a 2020 study of “Mexican-ness” codes — as perceived in US culture.

Tags: CODE-X, Mexico