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.
“ECCENTRIC CHIC” NORM: A sense, in the US, that British schools are so crushing and warping (cf. Pink Floyd’s The Wall) that Britain’s best and brightest are warped — sometimes in bad ways, but more often in fascinating ways that produce amazing art, inventions, music, comedy.
“ECCENTRIC CHIC” FORMS: There can be an element of aristocratic hauteur here — as in, only an aristocrat could get away with being so eccentric. David Bowie: the thin white duke.