For the past two months I have been putting out a comic book in my home city of San Diego. It has libidinal elements which fetishize it into commodity. This disguises it among the myriad of market products. It appears specialized, almost as if it comes from a cultural institution like a church or a political group. It has specific lettering which mimics tribal and meso-american art and it mixes the symbols of the sacred with the profane.At first glance it would appear that this small leaflet is a reference to some sort of academic text; perhaps a legend, mythology or a manifesto.
A person might not immediately realize that these books don’t refer to any preexisting established narrative. Despite being entirely fiction it gains it’s own authenticity simply through codifying itself within a framework of existing settings and symbols. e.g., regions, traditions and historical peoples. In this way my comic book uses a narrative to distort the preexisting cultural elements as an attempt to generate its own ethos with the illusion of historicity. It thus places the context of meaning within the these symbols it borrows. This would be ethnogenic as upon reading and referring the tale to the socially established codes which it refers it would promulgate a cultural identity that had not previously existed. This is coming from the premise that cultural identity temporalizes itself through historical narrative.
This implied historicity makes my comic a hyper real simulation of cultural identity. Cultural identity is the result of interdependent forces that define roles, reward status, govern behavior and order power relations of its members. Since the post modern person today adjusts ones social being to different contexts it is possible to introduce a new model which presents itself as a pseudo identity without interfering with the normal social order.
I hope to write more on this later:
The History of San Diego: Part 2
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