The only thing we haven’t established as certain about iamamiwhoami is the identity of the author. However, iamamiwhoami’s discourse is full of identity related clues, even direct statements. Maybe, just maybe, we already have the answer to ‘whoami’, but we refuse to accept it’s anything else but a commercial product.
For now, there are as many I’s as many ‘readers’ of this discourse are in this world.
We must start with the name itself, even though the road is long in the act of naming.
I am going to part this word into:
I am. Am I? Who am I?
I don’t intend to go towards I am Ami. Who? Ami. Simply because I don’t want to go there, it doesn’t make the subject of what I intend to analyze in this article. It would be too simple. I am. Am I? Who am I? definitely fits the picture because it screams the whole concept of the viral.
- I am. – Statement, not question. Synonym to: I have been born, I exist, I came into being. I am is the response to a direct question establishing identity. Example: Who is Dariana? I am.
- Am I? – Question. Strongly related to the existential interrogation of the human being: do I exist? The first thing a baby does after having been born is to figure this Am I by touching his fingers, moving his feet and so on. Whoever has a baby knows this is what it does in the first months of his life.
- Who am I? – in the same extent, an existential question, but this time applied throughout a being’s existence. I might as myself “Who am I?” at the age of 80, as I have been asking myself at puberty. This who am I is equivalent to all questions regarding the establishing of one’s identity as a person: name, social status, group belonging and so on.
The natural thing I am going to do next is to go further and analyze the titles of the videos, as they have been given to us by the author:
- I am – same explanation as in the above
- It’s me – This is going deeper than I am. It’s me leads to the separation of this individual from others. It’s me, not other.
- Mandragora – This is my genus. Even deeper than It’s me. I’m not a chicken, I’m a plant belonging to the Mandragora genus .
- Officinarum – Not just any plant, not just any type of Mandragora. I am a Mandragora Officinarum. My species.
Now place the name of the ‘author’ and the names of the videos in face to face, up to now:
- I am – I am (the acknowledgement of having been born, of being alive)
- Am I? – It’s me. (yes, I am and it’s me, not other)
- Who am I? – Mandragora Officinarum (I have a name and this name not only differentiates me from others, but gives me a sense of belonging. I belong to the Mandragora genus and I’m a MO)
Of course, I strongly suggest you look at iamamiwhoami as to a concept, as to an artistic product, not as to a person or a… plant. MO is just a sign, a thing that points to something, a thing that shows and means something else.
Now you may ask yourself why I am going so deep into this, you might say hey, no one is going this far for a viral, but I am asking you: why not? The author has the possibility and the resources (I’m referring to knowledge, not money), he might as well have the drive. He did prove it by portraying this MO myth quite beautifully!
Getting back to the sign theory (it’s the linguistic sign, let’s have that cleared one more time). A sign has two components: a mental representation (meaning) and a physical one (shape). The shape of the MO as a sign is this muddy blond woman, its meaning stands in the decoding of the myth itself. You’ll see how everything relates in the Archetypal and Mythological approach I am currently working on.
One’s identity is established through the act of PERCEIVING, which, in its turn, consists of a chain including SEEING, UNDERSTANDING, COMPREHENDING and, finally, APPREHENDING.
Up to now, we have seen the sign and we understood its meaning by simply analyzing its mythological shape. But we also have to comprehend this sign, meaning understanding it in relation to other signs – differentiating it from others and establishing similarities between them – and also apprehending it, as in accepting its individuality, seeing it as something new, able to convey meaning by itself.
For those who expect me to offer a personal guess upon the author, I hope you enjoy disappointment. I’m not interested in that. I will be delighted when I do find the answer, no matter what it is, but this whole thing could continue for ages without a reveal from my point of view!
- decoding iamamiwhoami – the beginnings