A shocker. But a shocker that makes sense in the story.
Watch the video:
You can’t be the knight!
The entire purpose of u-1 and u-2 is to hide the real letter that comes in the row. Two u’s make a double u, that is a W. The intention is clear: one short video broken in two cohesive parts which have been posted in a week, the first video doesn’t have another reference, but the second one does, the second video doesn’t have an animal sound, but the first does. Iamamiwhoami wants us to connect everything related to those videos.
Thus, in my opinion, we have B-O-W from our riddle up to now. Question is: how many other videos are there to come? I say at least 3, because there are 3 animals left. Sure, if we count these two as separate, there’s 2 left, but I doubt it.
Now getting back to the meaning of this last video. I must confess I was shocked myself when saw it, but it wasn’t a surprise as a couple of days ago discussions on the youtube board were kinda heading towards a hypothesis implying sexual manifestations. So what a surprise to have seen this happening!
However, think of what appears to be an act of raping as to an act of POSSESSING. An act of making something belong to you by force. After all, the woman is constantly repeating the man “You can’t be the knight.” and we all know how some disturbed men can react to rejection. By taking something by force. Anyway, what I’m thinking is actually happening is that the Mandragora effect is sort of wearing off and the man is desperate to have some more. In his attempt to have more he’s searching for the magic liquid, hence the labyrinth.
The only meaningful liquid in mythology made of mandragora essence can be found with the Egyptians, who used to consider the liquor the elixir of life (here, page 283). If we take into consideration CU is entering a maze and he looks very desperate to find it, plus the fact that the bottle is hidden deep into the center of the labyrinth, we can think that this is what the it contains: a potion that would prolong life and provide youth to the body. The bottle has all the traits of a Holy Grail.
LE: after I have read The Evolution of the Dragon, I’ve also made the connection between the room filled with small white balls and the Treasure House of the Pearls. Read about it here.
We must not forget we’re dealing with two settings, which definitely means one of them is the man’s disturbed mind. The mad house room we’ve been introduced to in u-1 I’m taking as objective reality.
Also, maybe this sexual drive/erection is an effect of the use of MO.
This is what I see in u-2: – a secured room in a mad house. A room in which patients are held after having been administered treatment. Clues: cardboard walls, polyester bits. All to prevent a disturbed patient from hurting himself.
The motif of the labyrinth is strongly related to the one of the forest I was talking about in u-1. It suggests the track a tormented mind is following in the process of healing. This time we’re dealing with a man made environment though.
One important thing is the video that has been related to u-2. Again, it has to do with the initial educational idea of this entire campaign. See for yourself:
Fame whores. Men and women degrading themselves in order to attract attention. The loss of a precious set of values.The Speidies.
I always wanted to avoid the ‘dead men’s semen’ part of the Mandragora myth, but here we are, I think I’m close to admitting that when rendering the wholeness of a myth, you must reach all parts of it, even those which sound a lil’ bit uncomfortable. There are some direct references towards the phallic symbol:
… yeah… also add all those movements and sexual positions to the picture, lol!
The big surprise with u-1 is that the iamamiwhoami concept is getting back to its roots. That is we’re not being offered a proper music video, as we have had in the case of b and o, but we’re getting drawn back to the riddle, thus our interest being aroused once more. The greatest thing about this move is that even though we do know the identity of the messenger (Jonna Lee and her band mates – it’s pretty clear to most users hovering around the iamamiwhoami youtube channel), we’re now being given something more, something deeper: the chance to leave the quest for a name aside and get back on board towards a new quest: a strongly encoded journey towards discovering how imagery renders MEANING. Many of us were skeptical with regards to how this glide would be made and how successful the campaign would be after the induced reveal. We were thinking: no one would give a damn about this after a name would appear/ be suggested. However, here we are, still clinging on it, and this – to me – only means that the creators of the concept are after promoting a high-quality product first and then after building a name. It’s a reversed advertising technique which most of the times ends badly, but if done correctly and thoroughly, can generate enormous amounts of success (see Trent Reznor pioneering it with Year Zero).
Long story short, we’re back in the mad house we’ve already been introduced to in the ‘b’ video, this time in the room of one of the patients, easily recognizable by furniture. If at first we’re expecting to deal again with at least two characters, the Mandragora being one of them, in the end we discover that the man has actually manufactured an MO of his own. A treatment of his own. It’s clear he’s disturbed, since his mind is building up an entire dialogue when the only real person in the room is himself.
Judging from this point of view, the woods he’s running through are just a figment of his lost, disturbed mind, a projection of his tourmented soul. He’s probably not even moving from the room he’s confined in (he has no clothes).
A mad man kept under control by drugs. By a certain drug: MO.
Anyway, I don’t think I’ve reached this up to now, but this game of mirrors really draws my thoughts towards the myth of androgyny. This u-1. Many people tend to see it as purely mathematical language applied to the alphabet. As in u minus 1 is T, thus fueling the theory according to which the final video would reveal the name of the project and this name is BOTANY. I don’t disregard this thesis, because, if you think of it, it really makes sense. But I’d like to believe iamamiwhoami is better than this. Botany is predictable. Not wrong, but predictable and it would take away from the mystery of this entire riddle.
Back to the androgyny thing. See the myth says that every being was half man and half woman and after a certain event, one half has been lost, thus the other is forever searching for the part that completes it. It is also known that both men and women have two sides: a masculine side and a feminine one. As far as this short video is regarded, I can relate to this theory. Think of the man as having lost his feminine side, or his half. Here, MO.
Now think of how many explanations you can offer to the use of the mirror in this entire story. A mirror is supposed to reflect the objective reality and offer a virtual image of whatever is mirrored in it. In this case, if the objective reality portrays a (mad, probably) man holding a puppet on his lap, the virtual image is a reversed image of the first one, thus we have the puppet becoming alive and speaking/singing. We cannot forget the fact that we’re dealing with a ventriloquist, a thing which may strengthen my androgyny approach: the feminine side – a softer side which is capable of producing such extraordinary sounds, etc – is actually being given life by the masculine side. The man controls the puppet, even though we’ve initially been made to think the opposite. Thing is that a ventriloquist uses his hand in order to control a puppet. One’s hand is considered to be an elongation of one’s mind. When we speak, we also move our hands, in order to sustain and complete the meaning of what we are saying. Even more, there is never just ONE person in a ventriloquist. You can easily take such a person as being bi-polar.
Another interesting thing with this image is the way in which the man and the woman are placed in those two realities. If in the objective reality the man is placed on the right (when looking towards the objective image) and the woman on the left, suggesting again that the man is in control and he has the power, the virtual image presents the man on the left and the woman on the right (when looking from the objective reality), thus reversing their position and status at the same time. The woman is controlling the man through her hypnotic voice.
That fact that the mirror is broken in two – a larger part, the man part and a smaller one, belonging to the woman) only comes to complete my ideas.
I thought of reaching the idea of the woman getting control over a man’s mind after noticing the past references iamamiwhoami has made for her videos. They all seem to deal with some sort of feminist approach. I can only translate this as Jonna Lee putting an end to solo female singers not being given enough credit or not being allowed to display their creativity and have their efforts recognized. To sustain this idea, think that the virtual image is a crooked one. The mirror is broken. Maybe this is exactly the message: not everything you see on TV nowadays is what you see/good/of quality. Give objective reality a chance!
Back to reality, that was just an approach.
The language in which MO sings is English, it’s just distorted. I’ve listened to the audio many times, around 1:05-1:07 I can easily distinguish “You, you gave me life”. Also, the audio starts with “You gave me life”.
The man appearing in the video reminds me of Salma Hayek’s character in Cirque Du Freak. The bearded Lady. A clear connection to that androgyny I was talking about.
Similar makeup I guess. However, the references is somewhat Indian, wouldn’t you agree?
The materials used to build the puppet is paper, thread and tape (hence, WOOD). Same colors as the room in the house (hence the puppet is one with the house). The same tape is used for the man’s beard. This tells me the following:
- the man states that he’s not actually a man: “I’m using fake beard and eyebrows to make myself look like a man.”
- the man has not reached his maturity
- the process the man is currently undergoing is a reversed process the Mandragora has undergone. She’s been through mud, feeding herself with wood, running bare naked through the woods, she’s suffered transformations until she finally came to flesh and bones. The man is going in reverse, starting to lose flesh and replace it with WOOD (paper is made from wood) and he’s also starting to run naked in the woods, lol.
The man does talk. Actually he’s mumbling something throughout the entire audio.
This is not the last video in this campaign.
Other opinions to support video analysis:
A big shout out at everybody on iamamiwhoami’s youtube channel and board! I met a couple of very passionate people that trully make sense in their attempts to solve/decode all these visual messages. Because, in the end, all we can do is ATTEMPT to explain.This is what I’m doing here as well.
As some of you have pointed out, the first six videos tell the story of how the Mandragora came to be; from its birth to how it came out after the death of the dogs, etc. as explained in lore. In ‘b’, she’s captured/imprisoned by these men who listen to her songs (or shrieks for that matter), almost siren-like. They leave her to further grow in ‘o’ until she bloomed and ran away. Come ‘u-1′ the man refuses to forget about the ‘b’ girl so he made a puppet. Or maybe, he is still under the trance/hallucination caused by the mandragora as it ran away. Maybe in the next video we will see Mandy running away or something.
Modern medicine gives it the dignified appellation of Bryonia Alba, and accredits the drug with vexatious, vivid dreams and somnambulism. Sounds rather than colors are attendant upon the dreams of mandrake, or BRIONY; now the chirping of locusts in the hedges, and again it is the roaring of a storm, the pealing of an organ or the swinging harmony of the spheres. The flowers sing, the earth speaks and the woes of humanity cry aloud. Besides these there are strange cravings, a longing for that which never existed even in the soul of a dreamer. So upon the whole, despite its marvels as a producer of sounds and despite its high reputation as a soporific with so mighty a sage as Shakespeare, it is perhaps best for moderns not to build their dreams with mandragora.
it’s obvious this is the last video. it was never a “campaign” as some kept insisting. simply a collection of well-produced, and magnificently thought-out aesthetically appealing clips, released one by one to keep us waiting, guessing (some ridiculously far-fetched, but i digress..)
we all tossed and turned for four months until she revealed herself in the second to last video, as a sort of glamorous/ethereal greenhouse siren. and now with this, in my opinion beautifully concluding video, an anxious man in his underwear is running, chasing this voice and vision of a girl. (he obviously represents us, the audience.) he reaches her only to find she is a mirage, a fantasy built up in his (our) mind/s.
we all built her up, but she never existed in the first place. this video should be enough closure.
Just looking at Jonna Lees Finally post on her iLike blog. Weirdly, the post isnt called Finally. Its called April 28, even though it was posted on the morning of April 27. I thought April 28 might be significant so I cross-checked it with the usual suspects:
On this date in 1911, Lee Falk, American comic strip writer, was born. He wrote MANDRAKE the Magician.
On this date in 1789, there was a mutiny on the HMS Bounty leaving Captain William Bligh adrift. VANUATU was one of the islands on the ships voyage.
On this date in 1770, Captain James Cook lands at BOTANY Bay in Australia. He charted and named the New Hebrides islands, now VANUATU.
The man is a gardener. He’s crazy, driven mad by a mandrake scream he once tried to harvest.. He lives in his bothay. He specializes in growing mandrakes. When the mandrakes are ripe, he harvests them. Then he makes dolls out of them. He either sells them, or sells time to be with one while they sing.
Will you deny, dear girl, that creatures can exist that are– not human – not animal – strange creatures created out of absurd thoughts and villainous desires?
You know good, my gentle girl, good is the Law; good are all our rules and regulations; good is the great God that created these regulations, these rules, these laws.
Good also is the man that values them completely and goes on his path in humility and patience in true obedience to our good God.
But there is another King that hates good. He breaks the laws and the regulations. He creates – note this well – against nature. He is bad, is evil, and evil is the man that would be like him. He is a child of Satan.
It is evil, very evil to go in and tamper with the eternal laws and with insolent hands rip them brazenly out of place.
He is happy and able to do evil – because Satan, who is a tremendous King, helps him. He wants to create out of his prideful wish and will, wants to do things that shatter all the rules, that reverse natural law and stand it on its head.
But he needs to be very careful: It is only a lie and what he creates is always lunacy and illusion. It towers up and fills the heavens – but collapses at the last moment and falls back to bury the arrogant fool that thought it up –
His Excellency Jacob Ten Brinken, Dr. med., Ord. Professor and Counselor created a strange maiden, created her – against nature. He created her entirely alone, though the thought belonged to another.
This creature, that was baptized and named Alraune, grew up and lived as a human child. Whatever she touched turned to gold, where ever she went became filled with wild laughter.
But whoever felt her poisonous breath, screamed at the sins that stirred inside them and on the ground where her feet lightly tread grew the pale white flower of death. It struck dead anyone that was hers except Frank Braun, who first thought of her and gave her life.
It’s not for you, golden sister, that I write this book. Your eyes are blue and kind. They know nothing of sins. Your days are like the heavy blue clusters of wisteria dropping down to form a soft carpet. My feet stride lightly and softly through them as I enter the glittering sunlight in the arbor of your gentle days. I don’t write this book for you my golden child, gracious sister of my dream filled days –
But I write it for you, you wild sinful sister of my hot nights. When the shadows fall, when the cruel ocean devours the beautiful golden sun there flashes over the waves a swift poisonous green ray. That is Sins first quick laugh over the alarmed dying day.
That’s when you extend yourself over the still water, raise yourself high and proclaim your arrival in blighted yellows, reds and deep violet colors. Your sins whisper through the deep night and vomit your pestilent breath wide throughout all the land.
And you become aware of your hot touch. You widen your eyes, lift your perky young breasts as your nostrils quiver and you spread wide your fever moistened hands.
Then the gentle civilized day splits away and falls to give birth to the serpent of the dark night. You extend yourself, sister, your wild soul, all shame, full of poison, and of torment and blood, and of kisses and desire, exultant outward in joyous abandon.
I write about you, through all the heavens and hells – sister of my sins – I write this book for you!