UnCool Update | Ok, So Who IS Iamamiwhoami?
Posted on March 18, 2010 by Margaret The UnCool
The UnCool doesn’t really follow the music and entertainment gossip machine as closely as the bigger sites, but the twitterverse has been buzzing about this one for weeks and we’re not immune to a good viral video mystery. So if you’ve not been following the iamamiwhoami viral video-gate, we’ll call this a primer. We hope you read through the details and share a guess at who you think the evidence points to via the poll posted on this page or on our Facebook page.
The iamamiwhoami Videos:
Most of the videos focus on a mystery woman who is a blond covered in goo and dirt, writhing around in the wilderness and occasionally licking a treetrunk. Most of the videos pause at some point to flash a single drawing of an animal: whale, bee, owl, goat. Also there seems to be some numerology/cryptology aspect to the video titles. (Each of the video’s names and the email teases contained long strings of numbers. There are multiple theories as to meaning.)
If you watch the videos in order they seem to tell a story of some sort of woman/spirit/critter/wraith that is being born in the earth (or from the earth?), travels through the wild and integrates itself into a heavily wood-paneled home full of creepy nodding men and replicating cats. Oh, and she seems to be wrapped completely in plastic by the end. Clear?
The iamamiwhoami Timeline:
December 7, 2009
A :55 sec youtube video is posted and multiple music magazines, MTV and high-profile music blogs receive emailed links to a high-budget teaser video. (I’m sure our email was lost in the mail.) The teaser is very weird and comes with no explanation.
40 seconds of trees with spooky limbs that are flopping arms and legs. 6 seconds of black and white goat line drawing, with goat-ey sounds. The trees come back and the first appearance of the mysterious lady lying in a pool of black goo. This appears to be her incubation and there seems to be some sort of umbilical cord.
January 7, 2010
Nothing more is heard from the mysterious video people until another video is posted.
Mysterious muck-covered lady repeatedly licks a tree suggestively. A black and white line drawing of an owl appears, with hooting of course. White “sap” runs down the surface of the tree. This one really creeps me out.
January 23, 2009
Video number three is posted.
Our lady of black muck is suddenly suspended in ethereal clean water/goo with floating particles that look like feathers. The music becomes rippley. The ethereal footage is interspersed with cuts back to the original black goo/incubation pool shots with the lady twitching in the black muck with her umbilical cord. Lots of swimming and knee close-ups. Oh, and a white cake with strawberries on top makes an appearance in the ethereal water (where else would it appear?). A black and white line drawing of a whale appears, accompanied by whale sounds. The lady lies in the muck-water, twitching with her hand clutched to her face.
Video number four is posted.
We start with a closeup of the lady’s black-goo-covered face as she gazes at a tree, making menacing tooth-bite gestures at it. She begins nibbling at the tree like a beaver making her way in circles around it. Oh, and then a bunch of happy Labradors bound around in the snow outside a shack. The tree, having been nibbled thoroughly by the lady, topples. A black and white line drawing of a bee buzzes at us. Then a very strange thing happens – the lady appears to be sitting on the now-sharpened point of the nibbled tree, spinning around on it like on a sit-n-spin. Heh?
Video number five is posted.
Tree branches in snow. Something red falls in water. Cut to our missy making out with trees again, looking like she’s shrieking. Black Labrador finds her in the woods and barks at her for a while on cut/repeat. Lady menaces dog with her teeth. Dog runs away. (No repeat of the beaver incident.) Lady keeps biting tree while grinding on it. A bunch of red stuff flies through the air. Black and white drawing of a llama. Lady clutches red orbs in her arms and lets them drop. Strawberries on strings drop from above as the blond-haired, black-goo-faced woman stares into the camera with shrubs behind her.
Video number six is posted.
Back to the shack. Twigs hanging from above come into focus spelling, “welcome,” as snow falls. We made it inside the shack! It’s all wood, claustrophic and dark, with two oval items on the wall that could be mirrors or clocks (something is moving in them). At the back of a hallway a door raises and we look in on a cavernous barn room. This seems to be where the previous video left off as we see our gal in the distance sitting on a table with strawberries on strings and of course, shrubbery. Dark ghostly figures walk back and forth. More tree imagery. There appears to be a cemetery of crosses in the snow with “I am,” scrawled in the foreground with red liquid. Back to the shack, which sprouts giant palm leaves from its roof and grows tentacles out the sides. Black and white monkey drawing with monkey sounds. Ultra-closeup on the lady as she says, “Why?”
March 1, 2009
The seventh (and…final?) video is posted.
This one is different. It’s longer (the longest of the earlier videos is 1:22, whereas this one is 4:50) and deviates from the previous naming system. It’s brighter. This one is entirely indoors –inside the shack?– which now appears more like a home. And there are other people! And did we mention the lady is now covered in plastic wrap?
It begins with a mobile of gauzy summertime seeds. A black cat looks up at the mobile and purrs. A typed label, “To whom it may concern” appears taped to something wooden. The lady’s hands and arms appear (clean!) covered in clear plastic film. A tiny hourglass on the floor is turned over and the sands begin to empty. Lady plays piano/organ. Blond mystery lady now has blue eyes and extremely long blond eyelashes and her face is covered in plastic. The lady writhes around while playing the piano, while strange bearded, turtleneck-wearing gents look on, nodding off. Lots of wood paneling and cats. The lady says a bunch of things in a robotic voice that I can’t understand. Noise-making cat next to a crib with a twig mobile. White socks in white Dr. Scholl’s. Self-replicating cats with a crib in the distance.
Animal: None? Noisy cat?
Want to read more behind the theories? We are not going into a lot of the theories that are out there, including the “lady as Mandrake root theory. This one’s interesting: http://www.ihavesynth.com/wehavesynth/iamamiwhoami-mandrake
Whoisiswhoisu? The iamamiwhoami Guesses:
This is the list of names that have been thrown about as the source of the mysterious lady viral videos:
Christina Aguilera (whose people deny it) – Superstar pop singer, you’ve probably heard of her. For a while A LOT of people thought she was the mysterious lady, because she has a new album coming out, Bionic, that she says was inspired by the birth of her son (the videos are riddled with birth/womb imagery) and is about the future. She seems to be moving in a slightly different artistic direction, collaborating with Ladytron, Santigold and Sea Wolf, among others. Hmmm.
Trent Reznor – Founder and creative force behind Nine Inch Nails (NIN). He’s rumored to have something to do with the project and is known for fostering other artists. And the videos are dark, artistic and have high production values. We could see him being involved somehow.
Lady Gaga – Telephone video. No explanation needed. I think people are throwing her name out because this is weird. The UnCool doesn’t think this one holds much credence. She’s touring promoting her current work and is making a splash with Telephone – not sure why she would detract from that.
MGMT – Um, Ok, they are coming out with a new album, called Congratulations, that they did say they would be more “sprawling,” and “psychedelic.” But we remain unconvinced as to how they could be involved.
The Knife — An electronic brother/sister duo from Sweden who are known for not cooperating with media requests and making appearances wearing masks or face paint. They do have a new album coming and their sound is stylistically closer to the music in the videos. We could see it.
Lykke Li – Swedish electro-pop darling. We could believe it. And could be another example of an artist taking a darker approach? The voice is rather different though.
Goldfrapp – Hmmm. Maybe. They have a new album coming, but it’s more electric dance pop, almost disco-ey. But they have definitely used nature and paganism symbology in the past.
Jonna Lee – Swedish singer-songwriter, recently anointed as the frontrunner to be the mystery lady. A livejournal community called “Oh No They Didn’t” claims that the eyes, nose and teeth are a close match. Jonna Lee plays SXSW March 18, 19 and 20, so that’s something a lot of people are keeping an eye on. If she is the mysterious lady it could be revealed in Austin.
What do you think?
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