LOC – Level of consciousness (LOC) is a measurement of a person’s arousability and responsiveness to stimuli from the environment.
ALOC - An altered level of consciousness can result from a variety of factors, including alterations in the chemical environment of the brain (e.g. exposure to poisons).wiki
Iamamiwhoami is all about levels. Whether we are talking about levels of the I (Identity in Iamamiwhoami), technical construction levels (mirror in mirror, picture in picture, cyclic development of events etc) or consciousness levels (Semiotics UnderCover), everything about iamamiwhoami can be reduced to one image: a constant journey into the deep levels of meaning.
This topic really is too complex and my intention is – for now – to explain the main male character’s behavior throughout the sequence of videos. So I shall restrain myself to making you look at things from the simple perspective of the Mandragora Officinarum effects upon the human mind.
Taking that into account, and the fact that we shall consider CU as being under the influence of the MO poison, look at his reactions from that point of view.
MO was used primarily as a treatment for infertility. That’s the first thing I stumbled upon when I first started reading about it. However, in the case of this campaign, infertility can be easily translated as lack of creativity. Now, thinking in terms of an artist’s desire to be reborn, re-birth is achieved first by discovering whatever resources lay deep down inside oneself and then by finding sources in the exterior. Therefore, it first takes a journey into one’s consciousness in order to release new creativity resources. And one should go as deep as the un-conscious. Check what the unconscious consists of in this image. Deep archetypal drives that we unconsciously try to actualize in life, self-actualization, universal meaning, gender roles, parental roles etc. They all sound familiar to me.
In my opinion, CU is taking this journey with the help of the MO poison. And everything started with the B ‘brainstorming session’ for creativity (lol!). His only problem is his levels are altered.
There are six altered levels of consciousness and if you have the patience to have a look at this screencap, you would see each if them present in CU’s behavior.
CU’s manifestations and actions in the videos represent his conscious undergoing these stages.
(falling) Conscious: b
Confused: u-1, U-2
Delirious: u-2, Y
He’s traveled deep down towards his death basically.Willingly. I mean check this:
Level of consciousness can be lowered when the brain receives insufficient oxygen (as occurs in hypoxia).
Anyway, this ALOC perspective could explain why we are constantly fed different, confusing levels of reality. Is it objective now? Oh, no, it’s a dream. Now it’s subjective and so on.
Looking at things from this perspective, the black cat is CU’s conscious, which accompanies him as he goes down within his self (as we go) and which bares the same signs of alteration. This could explain why the cat is not making the right noises. Think about it. B starts with a purring black cat, a sign that the conscious is slowly entering sleep. B ends with 6 cats, or so we think, because it’s actually one cat and what we see is a deja-vu, that is the moment in which the conscious literally begins its journey. A deja-vu is a shift, a sudden break of the ‘film’. It’s a departure from reality. Every video coming after that portrays a constant shifting conscious which, however, keeps its shape (the cat), the only transformation occurring in content (the weird animal noises). Somehow the conscious remains protected (look after me, I’ll look after you, as we go).
As we have noticed before, the cat always appears inside a room. Again, my initial hypothesis taken into consideration, every room represents CU’s mind. The transformations occurring in these rooms is also related to the process of alteration. The change in color and the white end is the perfect way of rendering the human mind completely influenced by the MO milk (poison).
O begins with the cat purring again, the plunge has begun and we’re entering the first altered room, a dark room in which the process of influence is just starting (see how the white substance slowly appears and ’something changed in you’), as the MO literally grows in CU’s mind and traps his heart in a fortress.
There’s no cat in u-1, just the sound of a whale and in the back of our mind, that’d be the cat still, his conscious in danger of being lost, screaming ‘I’m still here’ while CU undergoes his stage of lost, confusion, going towards hallucination in a fast pace. The conscious always wants to get to the surface. When we dream, it travels downwards, when we wake up, it glides back. u-2 finds CU delusional, no sign from his conscious around, a constant fear of not making it (to find what he’s been traveling for), but with the awareness of having to enter the labyrinth by himself, of having to keep going deeper into the maze.
N begins with a purring conscious which hasn’t stopped its journey (cat still makes funny noises). It seems to have found the place in which the thing it is after could be. The level of influence (the white around) is really increased, yet the cat appears at ease as it moves in the white paper room. We also meet another character, the dog, which, in my opinion, acts like a protective shield. The conscious never fully touches the poison, it has got the antidote for it. The dog seems immune, that’s why it could easily be sacrificed, if the case. The dog could also be the guardian of creativity itself. Hope I’m not going too far when I say that drugs actually enhance levels of creativity in artists. Anyway, from now on, the two remain together as they enter the final room, the white room in Y and, later on, in 20101104.
In Y, the conscious has made it and seems at ease, installed comfortable (even sits on the table), just waiting for something to be born. Meanwhile, CU’s senses are taken over and he enters the lower levels of his altered consciousness. His body is ready to let go, but not without a final strive, a final battle. The King is his final twitch. Too bad the influence is too heavy.
The traveling conscious has one purpose solely: to bring creativity to the surface. This is why, in 20101104 the cat leaves the room, leaves CU’s mind and his body behind and follows the new product, accompanied by the dog. The door that will open in the next video will be the door which will lead the creative conscious back into reality.
Conclusion is: the success of a viral anything stands in creating confusion and maintaining a high level of AMBIGUITY. This, of course, is the reason for which so many interpretations are possible. Do I think that things can be as complex as I sometimes see them? YES! The creators of this campaign do follow a simple pattern, but the way in which they are doing it is waaaaay complex! Do I think it took them A LOT to even conceptualize the campaign? HELL YES! And yes, they did think about every object/material appearing in the videos: how it is placed, what it is made for etc etc etc, because it’s by their way of arranging images that they render meaning. They might not have hours of videos or tens of albums prepared, but they have days of conceptualization brainstorming, hours of footage, hundreds of ideas, tens of people working on it. I believe in the ambiguous complexity of this project and in the initial intention of videos speaking MORE than they appear, because this is what art is all about.
Now, to whom it may concern, here’s a personal recommendation: Psyche and Substance: Essays on Homeopathy in the Light of Jungian Psychology, By Edward C. Whitmon, page 167. There aren’t more than 10 pages to read. The chapter is interesting because it analyzes the effects of the Mandragora substance upon one’s psyche.
- decoding iamamiwhoami – the beginnings