iamamiwhoami – ; john

51

The road to freedom goes through the sewer

Six months are worth the wait for this. Let’s see what ; john is all about.

Read these (approximate) lyrics:

Used to be clean
now I’m filthy as can be.
scrapping off
every spot

Used to be mean
now I’m good as can be.
Raise me up!
I’m your slut!

May that god of me protect my soul
as I stay a little while longer
in this dusty rabbit hole
to sing my song chained on to your bed

Used to be told
my silence is gold
Coughing up
every drop.
Used to kiss more
now I’m granting you all
stepping up,
I’m your slut

May that god of me protect my soul
as I stay a little while longer
in this dusty rabbit hole
to sing my song chained on to your bed

Used to be clean now I’m filthy as can be.

Not think of terry cloth. And of toilet paper.
Just kidding :)

john

a person who uses the services of a prostitute

slang for toilet

There’s you, there’s your dragon (evolution), there’s the evolution road (road to civilization – a road of continuous wandering and various choices – see the running CU choosing first the right side of this path, then jumping over it, on the left side), there’s your fear of evolution and, to be more specific, your fear of getting dirty in order to walk on this road.

1dragonriver

One image I found very interesting when it comes to rendering the idea of the I in iamamiwhoami is the one at 01:27 – 01:43. The director did an amazing job of identifying the I with this particular CU. Fortunately, this is not the only CU, therefore, this time, CU clearly stands for any and every ONE. The ‘replacement’ is done beautifully lovely idea: I stands for any of you. The fact that the CU drifts away from this pillar only comes to sustain it.

2Iclaes

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Never forget ; john is still based on the Alraune myth and this is the loveless child at the end of 20101104:

A scientist, Professor Jakob ten Brinken, interested in the laws of heredity, impregnates a prostitute in a laboratory with the semen of a hanged murderer. The prostitute conceives a female child who has no concept of love, whom the professor adopts. The girl, Alraune, suffers from obsessive sexuality and perverse relationships throughout her life. She learns of her unnatural origins and she avenges herself against the professor. (Wikipedia)

Hence the lyrics, which definitely show how MO detaches herself from feelings that come close to what love implies (purity of love – clean, kisses). She’s not a lover, she’s a slut. I am now waiting for the revenge.

Maybe the most relevant source of inspiration for me is Hanns Heinz Ewers’ – Alraune (translation by Joe Bandel). It is amazing and I recommend it to whoever is interested in seeing where this project might be going, plot wise and meaning wise. I am going to post just an excerpt, regarding ; john:

And Mother Earth?–What is her symbol? What does she represent? She is fertility, uncle. The earth is the feminine, the woman. She takes the semen, takes it into her womb, nourishes it, lets it germinate, grow, bloom and bear fruit. So you take what is fertile like the earth herself–take a woman.

But Mother Earth is the eternal prostitute, she serves all. She is the eternal mother, is always for sale, the prostitute of billions. She refuses her lascivious love to none, offers herself gladly to anyone that will take her. Everything that lives has been fertilized in her glorious womb and she has given birth to it. It has always been this way throughout the
ages.
(above mentioned, pp 32-33)

You be the judge. Out of respect for this project, I shall go no further with quoting Heinz Ewers’ text. Search for it and read for yourself.

All I can tell you is this: after reading the book, I now understand:

- what the dogs stand for (apart from the myth)
- the meanings of: the T and Y cover, the envelope and the hair piece MTV James got (this one is really good and… mean, lol, SMART JOB, YOU GUYS!) and the hair pieces above the cradle
- why the men in the mirrors quarreled (in 6th previd)
- why 5 shades of men in the 6th previd and why 6 masks in O
- why the scene of MO on the house at the end of the 6th previd
- why ‘disciple’
- why the llama spit
- why the snail at the beginning of T
- why the hunt theme
- why those sequences of numbers
- what ‘why?‘ is actually all about
- why the forest was silver
- why the laughter during ‘in concert’
- who the golden hair boy filming in N is and also the bottle man
- whom SUTS portrayed and why he got burned
- where the dancing scenes from ‘in concert’ came from and their meaning
- the purpose of the mirror symbol
- why: ‘dress the part, it’s story telling’, ‘tell me how the story ends now’
- where the king/queen/priest/knight references come from
- who ‘u-1′ is dedicated to and why on earth ‘you can’t be the knight’
- CUs real name, possibly

…and so, so many other things. I swear to you, you will have all the answers and you will be amazed at how this JL has managed to write those wonderful lyrics in such a way that no one would ever guess. Enjoy reading! Now back to blabbing.

Alright, the video oozes sex, I have to agree. However, with iam, I believe that when sex screams right in your face (both lyrics and images simply go there, they’re as explicit as they can be), it might be about something else. I mean this video is somewhat opposite to a classical video in which the idea of sex is rendered. With the classical, concepts are suggested, with John, they’re visible and even explained. So I am 110% sure the team is actually trying to suggest other meanings and just hide them under this form. Maybe in order to prove that this type of ‘prostitution’ (selling sex via images in all media for example) is going way too far.

Right, we’re in MO’s room. White all around, walls draped bedroom style, a king size bed in the middle. Materials used? Plastic foil for the walls and toilet paper for this bed. MO’s outfit is made of what it looks like terry cloth and we can definitely see what she is trying to portray: a dominatrix. The way they use antithesis, I swear! This is not an outfit built to subdue, but to… well… clean.

Speaking of which, perfect timing for those lyrics. And for the bed. The sole purpose of toilet paper is to clean. And a bed made of toilet paper only has one purpose: to clean. What? Whatever lays on it. Bodies.

Getting back to the first stanza, I have to admit again someone is a genius of lyrics.

Used to be clean, now I’m filthy as can be, scrapping off every spot
Used to be mean, now I’m good as can be.

Having these two phrases placed one after another, their parallelism actually brings out a paradox: in the end, we understand that clean is mean and filthy is good.

To me, this remains a problem of good vs. evil, an issue of who and what exactly decides something is good or bad. Naturally, clean represents a positive trait. It means tidy, immaculate, pure, however it also means inexperienced, immature, blank, and sterile. In the same extent, filthy has a natural negative vibe, it means dirty, untidy, vulgar, obscene, even corrupted. However, to me, in this context, it also means sexy, stimulating, experienced, hence mature. It’s related to the sewer I was talking about. Maturity implies getting dirty (being aware that you have to get dirty in order to gain your freedom as an individual). That is taking matters into one’s hand and doing something with yourself, constantly changing, constantly seeking to escape boundaries, prisons (of bodies, minds, etc).

Moving forward, mean is negatively charged, however it is often used to render a positive trait (that’s mean car etc), and, in this context, again sends to the experienced part (being extremely good at sex). Then good, even though it is charged positively, in this context, and compared to mean, could be just average.

After I’ve watched the video, it was clear to me that John refers to a person who uses the services of a prostitute. Notice I have said ‘person’, not man. Reason is obvious. But is MO a denotative prostitute, or are there various connotations the concept of ‘prostitution’ can take?

I don’t believe in denotation with iam.

Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. Now leave the sex aside and replace some terms in this definition. Prostitution is the act of providing certain services to another person in return for something else.

Seller? MO. Buyer? Men and women (anyone, including you). Means of payment: jizz/milk (well, hm, your seed/innocence). Provided services? Change, in my views. Change through cleanse. Purification. Re-birth. All well hidden inside an explicit metaphor of (mean LOL) sexual intercourse.

Back to the prostitute. There’s nothing clean about a prostitute, at least in the concept itself and how it has been regarded over the years. Yet MO is not only clean, but also cleans other individuals. She’s a visual oxymoron. She’s dressed in towel material and her action completes the action of the toilet paper bed. Body is trapped between the two and is purified. I know you cannot get away from the actual sex scene, but try, lol.

Why do men and women seek for the services of prostitutes? To try new things, to fulfill hidden desires, to make the first time happen, in one phrase, to get what they lack (love, experience, rush etc). These are things which, if they’re not fulfilled, prevent these persons from their evolution. Lack of courage. The act of going to a prostitute is closely connected to feeling the shame of it. This is something one wants, yet one does not want others to know one wants. MO is playful and joyful, she draws you in, she makes you want her, she’s… ready to burst. Prostitute MO stands for hidden desire, fear, obstacle. She knows those poor souls are afraid to take the leap, she’s fierce, she looks for the camera in the waiting room, to meet their eyes and make their spines freeze. Check them out, covering their faces, sitting down, crouched, waiting for their turn. Yet she’ll be the one to ‘release’ whatever lies inside them. The sexual act, the cleansing act, it enables change, re-birth. When she opens the door to take another in, the way she reaches for his hand (palm right up, waiting for his) is actually very mild. This is an invitation and the man is only to make a choice. Notice how his posture is changed when he enters her room. He becomes more relaxed. That’d be Claes, the first one, btw, haha. Aaaaaaand he takes a left. Is that the right way?

I really like how they portray the change by slipping in two images, first  showing weakness of one’s initial state (shame of one’s body, fear – psychological weakness) and then strength after re-birth (physical strength, right posture of body and relaxed attitude):

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Since I was talking about the ‘waiting room’, that room is made of polystyrene. I’m going to leave aside the fact that it reminds me of the ‘white pearls’ in u-2. The purpose of polystyrene is to prevent things from breaking. Valuable things. I’m thinking minds, in our context. We do not want the core to be affected by the cleanse, do we? We just want the mind to be deflowered. Penetrated. That is to be opened. Mindfucking, I know.

Another interesting thing about polystyrene is that it takes the shape of the objects they protect. I can see some intriguing patterns, yet I haven’t tried to find out anything, it’s just the idea I was interested in.

LE:Polystyrene can be recycled, and has the number “6″ as its recycling symbol” (Unplugged70)

A prostitute to open our minds. Art sold for the purpose of making change happen, hence evolution happen. (May that god of me protect my soul /as I stay a little while longer/in this dusty rabbit hole/to sing my song to your bed – ok, fine, I’ll take the wrath of my god, I’ll sing/sell another song for/to you, if that’d help you become aware of the things I have said in the past). Possibly.

Ah, about minds… I think the gesture of unwinding one’s hair (02:37) is a synonym of opening one’s mind, letting thought flow. Sensuality connotation left aside, again :)

One’s body is the epitome of one’s limits. While mind can travel and cannot be touched by the action of certain factors (time and space, for example), body needs help to be able to survive. Art has always taught us we cannot have limits. The change these androgynous CUs are taking is just for that. To break boundaries. To me, what is hidden in those plastic bags is what needs to be protected from the somewhat violent change. That would be one’s core, one’s self, one’s I. In the process of escaping our limits, our reason must be protected, for example. Selves, identities cannot get dirty. Dirt is corruption and corrupted identities cannot be I’s, but ‘others’. If you look at 07:41, that’s our old Y shape of a vagina, which now really resembles a human shape, head, shoulders and trunk. You can clearly see that, after the CUs have changed their clothes/skins, they put them in plastic bags and they place them in what I make the head of the shape, while they move forward trough what I would consider the body of the shape. Both CUs and their plastic bags will meet later on, after experiencing the filth in the ‘sewer’ (difficulty of the change – death, for example).

The end of the human shaped tunnel is equivalent to making a choice. Notice the first man going through. He first looks to the left and then he turns right and takes that path. Shame we cannot see what choice the woman makes, she seems to be lingering for a long time inside the tunnel.

Lovely way to render the idea of equal bodies. After the ‘skins’ are off, CUs are wearing what I would call a ‘uniform’ (white undies and socks nothing else), hence they are unified signifiers. They stop representing men and women, they are just individuals. Androgens. Heck… maybe after resurrection, suts will come back as sutsella! Kidding, I just like how they portrayed that. The difference between man and woman is that plastic bag.

I wonder if I’d go too far to call these CUs the heroes I was talking about in my previous articles. After all, they are undergoing a process of rebirth, they are going through hell (prostitute, as filth), meeting their darkest selves (their own prostituted selves), facing themselves (shedding their skins and cleansing themselves) in order to come out changed and ready to produce changes.

Re-occurring themes and motifs:

I absolutely love the sequences involving the dog. The fact that the dog is filmed running makes me think it is somewhat connected to CU in the beginning. As if it’d run to meet him.

4civilisationevolution
However, the more interesting thing about it is the fact that the director chose to portray it in six different scenes, with six different backgrounds, which I am pretty sure could mean a thing or two. I mean I have been given the impression that this run is actually a metaphorical recollection of the six BOUNTY videos:

dog1

That would be the house in B. I say this because someone opens the door so the dog comes out. Also, the fence screams domesticity. Screams ‘home’. LE: that’d rather be the door at the end of 20101104.

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That to me would be the pot house in O. Because of the air conditioning system and the need of a ventilated industrial space. Mh… might be a little bit forced though.

vlcsnap-2011-05-16-15h47m16s52

This might sound far fetched as well, but the huge fence blocking our view reminds me of the break of u-1 and u-2 and of the time when duality became clearer and clearer.

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The only thing I can say to relate this to N is the presence of this tree trunk tree as the representation of Nature taking over or taking its rightful place inside the city walls. If anyone could find a better analogy, be my guest.

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That is definitely the forest in T.

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And those would be the great white walls of Y. Notice the presence of number 6 once more.

Water remains a very important motif with iamamiwhoami. Strongly connected to the idea of birth, water is now present in the process of rebirth/change. This time, under the form of a small river. The main purpose of water in John is to give guidance and to flow the new bodies out. It might be filthy water, but it is water still. And it’s even better if it’s filthy, because it conceals the body, keeps it hidden during the great escape. This resembles the amniotic liquid, of course. Connect it to the second ‘urban’ meaning of John and there you have it: bodies flushed into new life.

Believe it or not, the mirror is also present in John, this time under the form of a TV screen. Hence image travels only one way and does not reflect anything back, nor does it let anything go back through it. This means the message is meant to go in one direction only. Message is just transmitted, no feedback requested.

I absolutely love how MO is portrayed in all videos and I’m referring to her… should I say dressing code? Damn right. It’s IS a code!!! Those jumpsuits speak more about who/what she embodies than thousands of words! Big congratulations to whoever makes those costumes, I bet JL has tons of ideas, I cannot wait for more. The concept of functional removable skin is absolutely amazing and it is a great way of rendering the idea of identity switch/ multiple identity. I said it before and I’ll say it again: hope the jumpsuits become a MO trademark.

; John cover

johncover

The cover is typical for iam. It’s wonderful they’re continuing on the palpable texture thing. This time, terry cloth. Direct connection to cleaning/cleansing. Writing code is similar, which can only make me happy. John appears to be the first item in an enumeration of more, hence there seem to be more videos to come. If we’re to follow the pattern, at least 5 in this bunch.

If you like, I consider the ringing phone in the end to be anther assurance that this goes on. Speaking of which, at first I thought the damn phone is going to ring around six times and be answered, but it rings more than that and it stops right in the middle of the ringing sound. Also, there are actually two sounds which are repeated. They gave me the impression the CUs are called for this ‘mission’ (suts style) and counted.

I keep playing this track, it’s on repeat, and it definitely gives me a feeling of freedom. I’m happy when I listen to it.

PS: I just made the greatest mistake when I started to write this post today: I wrote ‘; John’ instead of ‘; john’. There’s no capital J in iam’s ; john. That is not a name. It’s a signifier.

If you take a close look at the ‘hangers room’, that appears to be some sort of ‘black skin’ on the left side. I immediately thought of the black mandragora and of the lyrics used to be clean, now i’m filthy. If that’s what the CUs place in their bags, I can only think that their evil selves is what they’re flushing away.

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Dots (holes) and lines (tubes) seem to play an important part in this video. To me, they make tunnels and they are closely related to the idea of change/cleanse.

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As a new means of punctuation, I would mention the presence of the ellipsis – ‘…’ – which mark an intentional omission of a word (in writing)/something, often indicating a pause in thought/concept, an unfinished thought or, placed at the end of a discourse, a trailing off into silence. Of course, with iam, I could easily assume it means ‘and so forth’ or simply ‘no comment’. I guess we shall see.

Purchase ; John on iTunes.

I purchased Joe Bandel’s version of ‘Alraune’ here.

A very well written review of the track from 2020k. I love it when dudes know about sounds.
First ;john remix by eineinmeier
Unplugged70’s lovely collage – Give me to drink Mandragora – man, I love this!

Comments (51)

Love your article.
Kind of what I’m thinking too, although I thought what was inside of the plastic bags was trash, what MO had taken always from the CU people.
And it’s really cool the fact that the “Johns”, full of shame to be searching for MO’s Services, them all hiding their faces.

Oh! I think it is one more of the iam’s “circle stories”. It really seems that the CU from the beggining already gone through MO’s white room. Cuz, they only got the plastic bags after this.

incredible.

yes, Nikolas, first CU is Claes, also the first to be invited inside her room ;)
this is not finished :D
ta very much btw

What might support your evidence of the cleansing and the freedom of the REBIRTH that you are talking about is the pivotal scene where she crosses her arms in bondage at 4:20 AND THEN PROCEEDS to dance frantic and uninhibited on the bed. It’s the moment visually that she presents us with her internal struggle of remaining ‘clean’ finally being laid to rest. It’s like the weight of her fight has been lifted-she is finally able to be free. What is most misleading about this, is that she subscribes to a committal relationship between the user and the used, herself being the used and then now becoming the user. She was once the one bound to her arguments, and now her freedom allows her to do the same repayments on a level of invasive cleansing. All in all, I think it is still a propaganda that continues the cycle of a societal structure where ‘all are one’ is better than ‘many ones creating a whole’ What do you think?

I think you couldn’t have said it better with regards t the user and the used and this is where the entire chain of paradoxes comes from in this video. Roles can and are reversed.
You are also right about the burst in the frantic dancing scene and very well spot on! The fact that it came right after her hands being ‘tied’ behind enhances the effect and totally screams FREEDOM. This goes with ‘coughing up’ right after ‘my silence is gold’ as well.
I appreciate your insight and thanks for reading ;)

On their youtube channel, a troll kept writing comments like “I need your sperm to feed the mandrake in my belly.”, “Make me your cum dump.”, “Looking for sperm. All donations accepted” months ago. I thought it was interesting how they might of used that idea of being a “cum dump” in this video.

I read from some YouTube comments… do you think the lyrics could be, “To sing my song chained onto your bed?”

@Cum mwell… you know how it is… semen plays a very important part in the mandrake myth :) )
@Brandon I heard chained as well, that could be it

Ha, I enjoy reading your analysis…es… what’s the plural of analysis again? ;)

I have to admit though, that I was struggling with a couple of things while reading it. Some symbols are – in my opinion – a bit “over-analyzed”.

This video might be a series, more connected than the others were. The main aspect is probably the urban setting we have now.

The question is: who’s being the prostitute in this video. Is it the Jonna-Portagonist, or is the person in white briefs, that actually brings something to her (in a plastic bag). It’s not just one person. These are several … and they all seem somewhat afraid or angsty sitting in the waiting room. They are allowed to watch the procedure being done by “Mo” on the little screens. And: it’s not only men. Also a woman is sitting among them.

It could be that we get more information about what’s happening there in the next video.

All very mysterious. That’s why we like it ;)

:) Yes, I tend to do that in my drive to cover all possible meanings of certain symbols, sorry bout that. It’s far more important what YOU think about a symbol, I see at least three possible angles from which I can develop meanings for this… let’s call it story [tale/myth pov, socio-moral pov, artistic pov].

If you follow the Alraune/Mandrake tale strictly, you can easily identify who the prostitute is, but as you have said it, if you analyze the actions of the white tidies, they all sort of enter the prostitute pattern. It is a matter of – as Matthew was writing above – who uses and who is being used.

I too think we will get some answers with regards to these issues in the next video and I agree we’re heading towards a more urban vibe.

Thanks for reading and for your insight as well, it’s always great to find out other people’s opinions. Doing this stuff alone might throw me off track at times ;)

Thanks for linking my blog. I’m going to edit my post and stick your link in as well. I really love this theory.

Cheers, RJ!

I love your work and had been following the movies for a long time and then quit. Now I need to go back and watch them from the beginning! I am very impressed and touched. You work bothered me and interested me at the same time…

I am so surprised that my translation of Alraune has been an influence!

Tonight I knew that I had to find something and I spent many hours of blind search never knowing that your site was it!

bright blessings!

-joe

I am deeply honored by your interest. I have decided to give this book a full and comprehensive read too late in my journey, wish I would have done it earlier, yet I am forever thankful, because it opened my eyes and made things clear in my head.
So clear that now I don’t want to divulge them, haha. I really think reading the book as it is is the only way to understand things that need be understood.
I hope your being somewhat bothered by my work has to do with my perspective in analysis and not my using pieces of your translation to convince iamami followers that this is a good approach to apprehend their concept.
Speaking of the devil, I am sure you’ll be delighted by how they managed to ‘translate’ the book themselves ;)

Best regards,
Dariana

Being bothered means being emotionally touched in ways that at times feel uncomfortable. There were times when translating HHE that I almost felt like throwing up. Yet it was still an act of love … and I feel that you know what I mean.

The spirit of Alraune does definitely live on in your work. I also love the insights people have shared.

I have never seen such strong symbolism and emotional content in videos like this before. It is I who am honored and you are indeed a great artist! Your own love for this work comes out.

-joe

Feeling a bit stupid… yet your love for this work does come out and you have thought about this far more than I ever will, chuckle…

I originally mistook you for someone on iam!!! I remain very interested in how you tie all this into the mandrake mythos and Alraune in particular. The contrast of the high and the low is a Ewers trademark and JL uses it very effectively as well. This has to be a work of love for her as well.

(returning quietly to review more videos)

Feel free to use any parts of my translation that will be helpful.

-joe

Oh, yes, the so many levels of the English language :) Lucky me I have an excuse.

That’s great then. Thank you again for the interest. It’s sort of amazing for me that you’ve commented on this, even if you originally took me for some insider (take THAT as flattering!).
I feel you with the difficulties of the translation. I can imagine how this must have been. You feel obliged to both do the work justice and filter it through your own mind. And words are definitely treacherous. I am by no mean intending to kiss any bottom, but your translation is the best in my views. At least for what I needed. I know zero German, and English is very very treacherous, again. It’s very important to be able to maintain the meaning of the original idea.
This is definitely a work of love for JL, so very glad you’ve noticed! Iamami has never implied any connection to the HHE work, by the way. I don’t even think this would be necessary. Alraune remains a great archetype and iamami will always be the ones to render it the best way possible, even better than the numerous movie adaptations out there. Subtle, yet definitely there. In this way, they pay respect both to the myth/story itself and to them, as artists.
I’m just glad I am a witness.

D,
thankfully

A few short comments. Black appears to be associated with both nature and the feminine or mother nature while white seems to be associated with light and sperm. You can bet both the cat and dog are female. There is a conflict between organic reality and artificial reality with organic being the true. Lets not forget the white rabbit suit in “john”, the childish play and going down the rabbit hole lyrics…

There seems evolution from the vegetable kingdom to the animal kingdom, perhaps with a wrong turning as it hits the world of humans. With gallows and sperm everywhere this is undoubtedly some version of the mandrake mythos. So, is the child male or female? Is the grown child represented in “john”?

In translation work I know I have it right when the paradox is resolved, the transcendental quality is there and it seems musical. HHE’s spirit at least is in these videos and I compare them to “The Student of Prague”, the silent film produced by him that is also available on youtube. Perhaps not in content but the energy behind it.

best wishes,-joe

I have come to the conclusion that the child’s sex is not important. We are given, of course, the impression that we’re dealing with a boy in Y, the golden haired child in N comes to sustain this. But the spirit of Alraune, as you know it, is… well… androgynous. We refer to the child as ‘little hope’. Again, you know Alraune used to call her favorite pets ‘little something’ and she, in return, was called ‘little something’ as well. This being said, the child might be represented in ; john as the ‘white rabbit’ (if you necessarily want her to be a rabbit, you know she can be anything, haha). I remember well reading HHE’s work, the childhood part of A. and I remember how she used to say ‘no’. I am associating that (her entire attitude as a kid) to the nodding gesture of the child in Y.
Totally agreeing with the black and white (they are being represented so well) and organic vs. artificial. I can see where ‘I bet both cat and dog are female’ comes from. Black. The Earth, the Feminine. I can see the cat as being female, yet the dog… I don’t know. But this is maybe part of the androgyny theme as well so it is possible.

‘I know I have it right when the paradox is resolved, the transcendental quality is there and it seems musical’ – beautiful.

The Student of Prague is going to make an afternoon more pleasant. Sounds interesting. Ty.

D

If your theory is correct we can presume that the videos already presented have told the mandrake legend, the history of the mother as a whore, the history of the father as a murderer, the death of them both, the difficult birth of the child down the birth channel, her childhood and now in john as how she perhaps deals or interacts with her classmates. Roughly a bit over 1/3 of the story. That means what is left would be her awakening to her own sexuality, treatment of her lovers, the development of her conscience and perhaps love…Well, I’ve certainly said enough…

Indeed you did :) )

Yes, I would say 90% of the things you’ve enumerated have already been presented.

Have you seen the ‘in concert’ representation? You might notice one side of the ‘treatment of her lovers’ part. And other things…

If you haven’t and would like to (1 hr long), let me know, will search for a link.

No, I haven’t seen anything other than the videos. I would certainly be interested in the “in concert” representation. Does that mean the entire sequence or series is conceptually done in a concert setting? I tried doing a little research on the internet but couldn’t find much on the band that was in English…

:)

You can actually ind the development of the entire saga on this website, I tried to follow all steps and I think I got the most important ones.
Basically, after what we call ‘the bounty series’ (b, o, u etc), they had a ‘concert’ and in-between, they chose one of the fans (one we call the volunteer – SUTS) to be ‘used’ during concert.
I’m gonna try and make this easier for you and post vids in order:

http://forsakenorder.com/art/15209/entertainment/11520/iamamiwhoami-20101001-volunteer
http://forsakenorder.com/art/15209/entertainment/entertainment/11573/iamamiwhoami-20101104-this-is-how-it-goes
http://forsakenorder.com/art/15209/entertainment/entertainment/11674/20101109-interrogatory
http://forsakenorder.com/entertainment/11749/101112-the-journey-begins
http://forsakenorder.com/entertainment/11788/101112-2-itinerary
http://forsakenorder.com/entertainment/11801/101113-visitor
http://forsakenorder.com/entertainment/11818/101114-visitor-2
http://forsakenorder.com/entertainment/11840/101115-visitor-3-tux
http://forsakenorder.com/uncategorized/11864/www-towhomitmayconcern-cc
http://forsakenorder.com/entertainment/11899/101115-2-time-to-go

These were in between bounty and the in concert. We call them SUTS videos and they’ve been deleted by iamami, but recovered by fans. If you have time to watch them in that order, you will understand all there was. (Bear in mind my annotations were made walking in the dark ;) )

And this is the ‘in concert’:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRV6SzJbfhc

and my take on the concert:

http://forsakenorder.com/entertainment/11902/the-journey-of-the-mandragora-officinarum

Enjoy the ride!

Thanks,
This will take me some time to digest…

I know :) )

This is just a few quick notes to give my first impression after a one time viewing of the videos and in concert. First I would like to say that I would not make these comments at all if I believed it would harm this beautiful project. The real question is that why after 1 1/2 years or so of the first videos coming out people are still debating or even wondering if this is related to the Alraune story. I believe iamami thought we would have caught on a long time ago and that they are waiting for this next link to become public, so here goes…

This is definitely a translation or representation of the Alraune story and not just of the mandrake myth. There are several mandrake myths but only one mandrake story, Alraune, and she is 100 years old this year! This is also a very highly creative and imaginative retelling of this old story that is entirely new in its own right. Iamami would not have followed the Alraune story line so closely if they did not want this fact openly known.

As mentioned before we have the mandrake legend but also professor ten Brinken as a king that wants to create a doll. This doll or human child brings riches symbolized by the car and women. Then the history of the mother as a prostitute and the history of the father as a murderer, even the story as a book. Then we have the death of both the mother and father and the difficult birth of the child. This boy child that was shown could also be Wulf who has his mother’s eyes…

The in concert was a dead give away since how many costume balls take place in the middle of the winter at night where someone, Alraune and Wulf, stand outside on the balcony in the cold ibelow zero weather in dancing clothes. He is the first to die of fever after getting a deathly chill…

This was probably pulled because it is out of sequence with john which probably tells of her interactions with her class mates in school as I mentioned previously.

That’s all folks, feel free to fill in all the empty spots….

Well done, Dariana!

:)

I thought you’d agree.

Well we actually know about the Alraune myth connection ever since the pre-vids ended and B appeared, yet no one has really given the book a read. The myth goes neck in neck with the Mandrake myth, so it came almost naturally. I told you… at first I thought it would be too obvious, then I thought hey, why not, the movie Alraune itself lacked tons of details, what it those details ARE in the book (like it always happens, doh)?
When I read it, I was amazed by the numerous details they’ve actually caught and hidden beautifully in their visuals.
I think SUTS is Wolfschen too :) and the concert was definitely catching the ball dance scene too.
The burning instead of the fever? Well… fever is like burning still, plus “little moth, you will burn your beautiful wings and then you will lie o the floor like an ugly worm.”
Couldn’t agree more about the presence of the car and other ‘valuable possessions’. Alraune brings luck and riches.
Veeeery interested in the Alraune story being 100 years old this year!!!
About people still debating, there are a couple of things which do not belong to the Alraune story, and these, of course, have to do with iamami as a concept. They do have their own individuality. The Alraune things still being debated… well… not too many have read the actual book. I didn’t until two months ago.
Thank you very much for the time you’ve taken. I was worried you got scared by the long chain of links over there :)

About Alraune being one hundred years old…I checked the link you gave for my book and see that you might not be aware that I came out with the centennial edition in quality paperback and hardcover with a beautiful cover illustration taken from the first edition published in 1911. It also has a very interesting essay by Dr. Wilfried Kugel, noted Ewers biographer plus other Alraune related stuff not in the ebook you read. The better link is:

http://bandelbooksonline.com

Ebook or print the book is still the same but I did some editing of errors in the new edition.

It might also be worth mentioning that one gets invited to a ball and the entire SUTS saga might be faked…to make one feel that they have been invited to a ball…

One reason for reading the book is that it might well offer the key to the emotional symbolism contained in the videos and help lead one to where they are intended to go…

As of right now without going back over the videos I have no clue what the meaning of the four animals is.

-joe

Interesting discussion! I wonder if the WOW concert will be Iam “interacting with her peers” (ie. performing alongside other bands).

@Joe, I have the e-book version. But I don’t have the centennial :( I was looking for the book itself. A pity.

We did think of the SUTS saga as being fake, however, it would be possible to be for real, because the presence of the fan doesn’t change anything apart from what you’ve said: fans feeling like they are being represented. Honestly, at this point, it doesn’t matter, at least from my pov. Their pov has been made and I liked it.

I agree about the key to the emotional symbolism. It’s what happened to me. I was observing and… ‘decoding’ things I was seeing, but to relate them to the exact meaning… Sometimes I did, many times I didn’t. I’m pretty sure there isn’t even such a thing as ‘exact meaning’ :)

There are SIX animals and we’ve connected them to many things, mostly to the birth/ rebirth process. After reading the book, I also thought about ATTITUDES and they all belong to Alraune. For example, they way she spit Frank in the face. Remember? That would be our LLAMA in my views. And so on…

But truth is, nothing is 100% clear to me either when it comes to the animals.

@kevin if you’re referring backstage, I am sure everyone would be curious and just come and say hi. If you’re referring to the concert per se, I dunno, I don’t think so. This would be their first (and only this year) representation and I don’t know if they’re going to interact.

Honestly, the next thing I am waiting fromiam is to present the in love MO. Quite excited about that.

Just a try at this!

Prevideo Prelude
The spirit of Alraune awakes and searches for a victim/creator, Frank Braun, symbolized by the goat. It is Frank Braun that gives birth to the idea of Alraune but the mandrake has given the idea to him in the first place…

2nd prevideo
The spirit of the mandrake nourishes this idea until at midnight, symbolized by the owl…

3rd prevideo
Its begins physical manifestation or embryonic form at the communion party for Frieda Gontram. There is cake…Princess Wolkonski is there symbolized by the whale. She is a whale of a woman…

4th prevideo
Attorney Mannase, symbolized by the bee for his stinging and biting wit, tells the legend of the Alraune to the crowd of people after the alraune has fallen off the wall and hit the maid on the head…

5th prevideo
The Alraune or mandrake is removed from the house after the party by Professor Ten Brinken, symbolized by the Llama because spittle is always running down his face…Frank Braun tells him the idea of creating a human Alraune…

6th prevideo

Welcome to the beginning. It is inside the old Gontram house…or better yet in the garden where the six Gontram children are running around like monkeys…All six are doomed to die…

B
The search for the mother…we see her wrapped in plastic as she charms her clients by the minute/hour for money, a prostitute. This is the woman destined to have the Alraune child…
O
She is locked up for safety at the clinic while they wait for the father’s execution. The ten Brinken house is protected by the statue of St. John of Nepumuk. It stands in the garden full of light and power…

U-1
Privy Councilor ten Brinken brings the wooden Alraune into the protected house. Who will win? St. John or the Alraune? They both have magickal powers…The mirror is broken…
U-2
The house is now dark and under the dominion of the wooden Alraune doll. The professor, Privy Councilor ten Brinken, artificially impregnated the prostitute…The house is now doomed…
T
The magickal fetus begins to grow and develop. She will be a queen with magical powers and already begins to bring riches and love to the old man…even before she is born…
Y
The professor writes in his journal in his darkened house. He writes of the success of the experiment, the mother’s pregnancy and the child’s difficult birth. The mother is truly mother earth and he has great hopes for his little child. He also writes of her father, the murderer who was condemned to die and his execution. The child is born…
20101104
But both parents are dead…The young girl begins to grow, a result of the marriage of a prostitute and a murderer…
John
Wulf, Alraune’s playmate, grows into a young man with a difficult life. She is separated from him and sent away to live in first a convent, then a finishing school where she torments her classmates…she toys with them in childish ways…
Suts
There is an invitation to a costume ball and Wulf is going with Alraune as her dance partner. He is measured and given a fancy outfit designed by her. He is picked up and sits in the back of the car…the chaffuer is one of Alraune’s lovers…prior to the ball Dr. Mohnen and Count Gerolding duel over ALraune and the count is killed…these are symbolized by the two tree humping men in the video…At the ball Alraune and Wulf dance and dance…then out of breath and sweating they step out onto the balcony in freezing below zero weather. They kiss and watch the moon…there is blood on the snow… Later Wulf gets sick and dies, consumed by fever…Alraune places a wreath on his grave…Many people have now died because of her…who will be next? At the table sit the remaining characters, Frank Braun, the goat; Privy Councilor ten Brinken, the Llama; Princess Wollonski, the whale; attorney Manasse, the bee; and Frieda Gontram, the monkey, played by Jonna in the monkey mask. These are the only ones left…
Alraune discovers her sexuality…

Coming next:
The fall and death of Privy Councilor ten Brinken
Alraune meets Frank Braun and sparks fly
How Alraune discovers the truth about herself
How Alraune falls in love
Betrayal
Death

Wow, the animal descriptions I have to say do match those characters and it IS an idea that was born and nourished and applied etc. Like your take on the vids. However, I always looked at the animals as to belonging to reality (them being a representation of the iam team). I remember writing something like this in my Evolution of the Dragon post:

‘Goat gives birth to this dragon and nourishes it through her placenta, the owl protects it, the whale provides incense and libation, the bee builds its stone coffin, the llama gives it the breath of life, and the monkey animates it. If so, goat is the one who came with the idea and fed it, the owl is his close sustainer, the whale is the financial provider, the llama is the authority/rep who gives it the ultimate boost, the monkey is J, who animates it and represents its image and the bee is the director, because he’s the architect. ‘

So it’s somewhat about the birth process/ creativity process. But I definitely see the connections you’ve made. And I too have thought about ‘a whale of a woman’ :)

I must say that some of the things you are noting as coming up in the future have already been touched (yet, of course, haven’t been developed upon and there’s 99% possibility they will appear in future videos, I certainly hope so). For example, I can see MO discovering the truth about herself in Y’s lyrics “I’ve seen the truth and it’s nothing like you said etc etc’, I see the same thing in the ‘in concert’ part, right after the Y representation, during what we call ‘whaling – Like Hell – song’, when she sings about how she feels in her newly discovered body, I see her reaction to finding out the truth in the way she watches the burn and I see death in the lyrics of the last song – ‘.’

This being said… I wonder if at some point after the bounty vids the iam team thought about putting an end to this, thus tried to place some of the story in the ‘in concert’. I doubt it and I’m super happy they decided to continue.

Was very nice reading your thoughts again, ‘cause I remembered tiny details, like how Frank was portrayed as a prince (knight) and the dichotomy good vs. evil manifested through the two statues: John of N. and the mandrake.

What do you make of the linked pages in the description of the original pre-vids and vids?

PS: I take it you’ve started to really like these artists :)

I love Alraune! What can I say? I devoted a year to translating her…This is a good, very good, retelling of the story, perhaps the best ever and meant to be a classic. There is power in these videos..

I have not seen the linked pages, assuming you mean the animal pages but relied upon your descriptions. I do remember seeing them when they first came out and I didn’t know what was going on. They didn’t mean anything to me then…

A main point is that while the videos do follow the Alraune story, the Alraune story is so obscure that I doubt if over 500 English speaking people alive now have read it. Iamami took a big risk in believing that the audience would be able to follow the story correctly and may have lost…Hopefully having the original story more accessible will be helpful. Alraune is not even currently in print in a German edition. Before my translation came out the going rate for an English copy was $400 if you could find it!

I suspect you are right and they might have considered ending the project but I also hope they will continue to the end…It could very well be the greatest musical rock opera ever! Alraune is a living entity that seeks life in her own way and touches those that love her…We are all changed forever when it happens…

I think iamami are safe for the future. The path is just a little bit difficult, but I think they are walking on it quite well, and the secrecy factor comes to help them a lot. It is in this way that people became interested and look… honestly… I would have known nothing about the myth and the book and the movie and so on if I wouldn’t have been drawn in by the vids and music.

I was just thinking yesterday, when you said something like ‘there are many Mandragora myths, but just one Mandrake story”… I immediately continued with ‘holy molly and these people were smart enough to make it their own’ – if you know what I mean. That in the future, there will be a direct connection between them. Win win situation. ‘meant to be a classic’ – exactly.

I wasn’t referring at the animal videos, but at the links the b,o,u,n,t,y videos have in their description. My bad if you misunderstood.

Alraune was translated into 28 languages in its heyday and has sold over 1 million copies in the German language since its first publication in 1911. It has also been made into a movie 5 times, the last in 1953. That movie is not too bad but iamami is much better!

The balls of foil mark the intermezzo’s. They symbolize the eggs of the basilisk that are lifted up and carried across the ocean by sin as high priestess. The ball of foil shows up again after the burning of the boxes and just before the erotic scene. This marks the second intermezzo in the book. Thus some corrections…

The burning scene does represent the fall of the house of Brinken and the suicide of the professor. That happens before the second intermezzo. This also means the Llama can not be the professor since he is already dead and it must be the gardener Froitsheim who never like Alraune…

This also means Frank Braun is symbolized as the goat and may not ever show up as a person…the saga is much further along than previously thought…

There are probably only two more songs in the entire rock opera…a song of love and happiness sung by the statue, John of Nepumuk, and a song of loss and mourning as the wooden mandrake is destroyed. This will probably be followed by a final sleep walk where she once more follows the moon into the woods leaving the goat behind…

So beautiful…so symbolic…

Hi, Joe,

The balls of foil, I always thought of them in the context of the Queen/King. To me, the regalia items are there in order to complete the king/queen references. Which, btw, I have considered to be something like this:

King – king of evil, king of good. You have these two references in the Prelude. Brinken plays a ‘little king’ by conceiving Alraune (he plays God – well, one of the too mentioned by HHE). That’s why he’s portrayed as a king in Y.

Queen – in the game of love, Alraune was always the Queen and Frank the hero (Tristan and Isolde – you find those hints in Ewers’ Galeotto verses right before ‘Arsis’). She is the queen of his heart. If Brinken was a king, he wanted Alraune to be his Queen, but there comes Frank and totally steals her. Same as the Lancelot reference.

However, I absolutely see the flying regalia items as the image described in that beautiful intermezzo.

Also, don’t look at the events in the videos as happening in a chronological way. Therefore, llama could still be who you’ve initially thought.

About the number of songs, I believe that, if they wanted, they could lengthen this as long as they want. Longer than two songs left, at least. Very hopeful here ;)

I am currently discussing things in the book with a couple of people who have managed to read it and there are some things which I would like you to express your opinion upon, if you like.

First one is related to the mirror archetype in the last intermezzo. I’m referring at the ‘in the mirror, my darling, only in the mirror’ parts. What do you think the function of the mirror is in HHE’s book and with iamami, of course?

Chuckle,

Someone once told me, “I feel you with the difficulties of the translation. I can imagine how this must have been. You feel obliged to both do the work justice and filter it through your own mind. And words are definitely treacherous.”

Welcome to the world of translating! You translating JL translating Ewers…

What does the mirror in the second intermezzo signify? Only in the mirror, only in the mirror…

What we see in the mirror is a reflection of ourselves, our dark side, but safe since it is not real, or is it? The dark creepiness that people see in these videos is not really there, it is in the minds of each veiwer and they scream at the evil that stirs inside themselves…that is what Alraune does…she herself is pure…never does anything wrong…does not even exist except as an influence on others…

At the publication of Alraune in 1911 Ewers was married to Ilna Ewers-Wunderwald, but they were separated. His lover at the time was a woman named Maria Muck (spelling? don’t remember) Maria committed suicide because she thought that she had been portrayed as the beautiful daughter of Sin…

Alraune is a mirror, a mirror of the darkest and most sensuous parts of you and of me…we can’t help but love her, but only in the mirror…because we fear her as well…

BTW after she rubs ashes onto her face in the 2nd intermezzo she goes over and begins playing a piano…with plastic on her hands…she plays for Frank Braun…

This is an interpretation of Alraune…that is absolutely certain and there are so many details that I could go on for days…as you and your friends will…but I sincerely doubt that you will ever be able to convince anyone unless they admit it for themselves…

Oh, they know it, they just need to read the book though, lol. It’s just a matter of time, this one.

Alright, Yes, I was thinking about that myself, with regards to the mirror. I think the mirror is also the only possible universe in which Alraune and Frank will be together. Frank is definitely afraid of her, he fears death. Mirror has to do with spaces and reflection and you’ve pointed out beautifully about the reflection of whoever looks into it. The reverse of what this being is, reflected back. I see it now, why ‘mirror’ stands close to ’sin’. Part of that duality evil vs. good. I guess that this is what we see in u-1, right?

Couldn’t agree more about the piano part during in concert. Interesting about HHE’s Maria.

Another thing we’re discussing and I would like your opinion on is the “why” iamami utters at the end of the first pre-video, which we also encounter in Y. Personally, in the context of iamami I just think it is related to: ‘it shouldn’t make any difference at all’ and ‘there is no purpose at all. Why should there be?’ (scene of the duelists, when she’s being asked why should the two duel.) It’s connected to Jonna Lee’s ‘it is what it is’ in http://www.towhomitmayconcern (why should it matter?). Of course, there’s always the “why have you created me” when she confronts Frank after she finds out.

As to “Why?” Why not? The central purpose of life and existence is to expand, become more complex and experience every possible thing, good or evil…nature is not moral…

As to the number of songs in the sequence, remember they are limited to the two hour concert and two or three more songs will be all they can fit in? You might know more about that than I do.

Hope you’re ready for ‘Clump’, Joe ;)

Line from Clump preview – “as I save you from a fall” -> interesting.

I’m ready! What is clump?

@Richard: yyyyep. I take it you’ve checked mail
@Joe: Clump is iam’s next move: http://www.amazon.com/Clump/dp/B005EVTQDM/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1311869628&sr=1-15
we’re waiting for it on August 1st.

Yes, I read your e-mail Dariana! Unfortunately, it’s being glitchy and I’ve been having trouble trying to send any e-mails.

I think it would be interesting if this song refers to the final chapter! Would this mean that this would be the last video / song? What if the concert is a farewell one? Oh no, I can’t bare the thought!

Then again they might take creative license.

“Why don’t you call” perhaps refers to Frank calling out Alraune’s name.

For sure this is the most Alraune-sounding song of all! Her voice just drips with seduction.

I really cannot wait to hear the rest of the lyrics.

Same here, Rich, same here. Monday is like months away, grrrrr.

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