Changed Priorities

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Saussure tells us that no sign makes sense on its own but only in relation to other signs. The value of a sign is determined by the relationship between signs in the system as a whole. He notes the French word mouton could be translated to English as ‘sheep’ or as ‘mutton.’ In English, ‘mutton’ is the meat of sheep that has been prepared and served as a meal. But it would not be the chosen word for a group of white animals crossing the road.  That is, unless you’re an artist. Acts of guerrilla semiotics is the mainstay of poets, writers, and conceptual artists.

In England, this sign announces an imminent change concerning right of way. But to an American eye, its sudden appearance on a lonely road opens up a wealth of associations, most of which are not related to automobiles…

…That is, unless you live in Los Angeles.

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