iamamiwhoami; good worker

12

One’s body is a GOOD WORKER, it does everything by the book, limited by the boundaries of its working inner systems.

One’s mind likes to PLAY

gw2
gw

Lyrics (approx)

You make a neat and tidy house,
a good worker does
A pinion of labors men
as capable as trust

From a lower point of you,
Comes the underlying truth
Keeping yourself unaware
Confident without a care
Locking out your little mind
Recognizing time has passed
Ready for some further use,
denial is a virtue

I make a good and steady friend,
a companion through life
But who am I, when all I am
is your designated wife?

From a lower point of you,
Comes the underlying truth
Keeping yourself unaware,
Confident without a care
Locking out your little mind
Recognizing time has passed
Ready for some further use,
denial is a virtue

Sadly I have not a friend where you’re taking me

(wikia)

I think it’s safe for us to say that this new series follows MO closer on a journey similar to the one we were talking about in the days of the Volunteer. But it’s always been a journey with iamamiwhoami, the name itself is a road to understanding. A constant movement towards self-discovery (the nucleus of evolution), mostly going on inwards, cleverly portrayed through outward events.

If there’s one thing I’ve always loved about the people working on this project is their preference for those core myths and archetypes which make individual transformations so easy to understand just by enabling the viewer to empathize, thus experience. The key to the success of the concept imho.

Good worker is a transition video, reason for which there’s an apparent sensation that nothing is happening. Well… not much is happening, but many things in there mean something. Again, to me, all those types of movement resonate because they dictate shifts of perspective, which are so fascinating (besides mind bugging, haha). Sure, I wished some of these images wouldn’t be repeating themselves. You know… we’ve seen this in T, this in N and we’ve seen that in Y, but there’s a reason for their presence and that’s because this is a road back.

But let’s get to the video itself and see what those images speak to us.

We were wondering what happened at the end of drops. MO was then still in the basement of the building, standing, ready to ‘fight’ the clumps, her eyes closing, her body ready for whatever was coming. Good worker begins with MO laying on her back (first shift of perspective), her eyes still closed, her hair spread (boy, that’s a lot of hair!), breathing profoundly as if during deep sleep. Again, the audio increases in intensity, suggesting we’re entering yet another level of MO’s consciousness. She opens her eyes and looks straight forward. This is where she stops her ‘drop’ for now.

She looks to the right, then to the left. Where is she? When, all of a sudden, another drop. Or is it? It depends on who’s experiencing. As MO’s laying on her back, her perspective is changed and, while she travels horizontally in space, the viewer sees her moving vertically, going downwards.

The director changes perspective again and now we see MO’s profile, and our eyes know how she’s going to move now. She appears to be outside, wind gently moving her locks (so much hair!). By the way she  opens her mouth to breathe in and practically tastes the air, adjusting both her lips and nostrils to its aroma and smell, we know she likes it. It MUST be better than that sterile building she was trapped in! She’s comfortable here, so she opens her eyes and begins to sing.

It’s interesting that she doesn’t look at us when she sings ‘you make a neat and tidy house’, but looks straight at the camera when she utters ‘a good worker does’.

And there it is, the movement is established: she’s not falling, she’s not even walking by herself. She’s being dragged by a hairy Clump – probably the one she went through in ‘drops’ -, against her will – she’s wrapped into what appears to be clump hair and tied thoroughly into a cocoon. Notice how she looks down towards the clump when she sings ‘as capable as trust’? It really seems to be like a love-hate relationship with this entity throughout sever, drops and good worker. What are its true intentions? Is it a friend or is it a foe?

If I were to think about this moment only, the fact that she looks like a cocoon and the clump is taking her somewhere is not bad. On the contrary. A cocoon is just a stage in one’s transformation, however, a stage in which one is quite vulnerable, as it cannot move by itself. The Clump appears to put a lot of effort into carrying MO, she seems to be a pretty heavy burden if you ask me, his feet look tired at times and his back gets hunched, yet he doesn’t complain, he just moves because he must substitute for her feet.

It’s a road back that they’re taking. They travel from right to left. Hauled back to reality? In this case, the hairy clump must be the cure, its hair wrapping her body some sort of healing, protective material.

I know all this back and forth from reality to fantasy, all these changes of perspective are confusing, but this is the road of becoming, of evolution. You also have to see things from ‘a lower point of view’, even if forced, because the ‘lower point of view’ is able to offer you basic answers about yourself/life – ‘underlying truth’.

There’s a reason for which they pass through this forest (I’m actually given the impression there are more that one forests) and so many types of trees. Trees, forests in general, are a sign of transformation and of maturity. You enter a forest and if you look around, you can practically see the variety of life. Trees in different stages of development.

A second MO character appears in the video. She’s in a car with a lowered window – to see things better (!!), for it seems to be raining. Again, really love the angle the director chose for these images. Even though she travels horizontally in space, we’re being given the impression she’s moving upwards, the trees passing by becoming levels. This MO is the opposite of the cocoon.  She’s more polished, she looks thoughtful. To me, she might as well be the result of the cocoon hatching.

Another interesting thing is that MO in the car sees the trunks of the trees while traveling, as opposed to dragged MO, who only sees the crowns of the trees. This is a clear sign that the first MO is anchored in reality (like trees in Earth), while the second is living in a fantasy world (the crowns of the trees aspiring towards the sky, anchored in nothing). MO in the car never looks up, towards the sky, she always looks down, towards her feet, where the ground is.

Love the expressions on MOs face when she sings the second stanza.

- I made a good and steady friend - she looks comfortable, she smiles and almost snuggles the hair she’s ‘trapped’ in
– a companion through life – looks upwards, hopeful
- but who am I when all I am
- there’s fear in her eyes, they’re wide open and can’t really focus, a clear sign of uncertainty. There’s a lot of regret in this verse. All I am is not enough, one of the saddest things.
– is your designated wife – she doesn’t even move her lips when this verse is sang, her eyes just seem to look for ways to get out of this situation. It’s her way of denying this status.

The fact that the stanzas are sang by the dragged MO and the chorus is sang by the MO in the car is very important as well. The stanzas are characterized by words which describe inner turmoil, a fight, while the chorus is a constant reassurance that things could be settled if certain parts of the self are suppressed. Maybe MO in the car is not the perfected dragged MO, maybe each of them are one side of MO. The sound of letting go a side of you…

It’s a dialogue between these two sides, spread with mild reproaches: fantasy MO scolds reality MO for having a limited life. You make a neat and tidy house - you act just like a designated wife, not getting out of your routine, you’re just like a person who does everything by the book and gets her good work in the end. As opposed to you, I made a good and steady friend, a companion through life – my imagination, which gives me freedom and breaks boundaries. However, you, being the other side, makes me a designated wife too and, while you might be content with that status, I am not, for I am more than that, that is not my all. If you listen carefully to the track, at this point, the words are accompanied by whistling. It’s more than clear fantasy MO is indifferent towards the status of a designated wife.

On the other hand, reality MO reproaches fantasy MO that she locks herself into an imaginary world, keeping herself unaware of the truth, denying the facts of reality, displaying an apparent confidence, derived from lack of care.

Maybe these are not reproaches, but just descriptions. In the end, the ideal is for the two sides to co-exist. A thought which is not necessarily accepted by both: take me where I’m not to find where you’re taking me.

Now that I take a look back, I can imagine the two MO traveling in perfect parallelism throughout good worker. They’re talking to each other facing each other. That being said, what is there to come? At the end of  the video, the car stops in the middle of the road. Is there going to be an ideal encounter? Or is this the point where reality MO stops from trying to convince fantasy MO to be hauled back and the point where fantasy MO asks to be taken even deeper, into a place where she will never be found? Which side is going to be let go?

In the end, it must be said that this is not just a road back, it’s a backwards march having the purpose to fill in the blanks in the story. The entire kin series I assume.

For example, I now understand why the motif of the tree is used so often. Just like the human being, a tree is two sided, anchored both in reality (its roots, like a human body) and in fantasy (its branches, like the human mind). I also understand the use of two MOs. Not necessarily because one represents the Mother and the other the Daughter (even though, at times, it makes sense), but because they represent those two sides of a human being, one more active than the other.

This might as well be the principle the final kin product is based on. How did bullet call it? A perfect combination of music and film. That is of music and visual art. Two sides: the Apollonian and the Dionysian. Read about it, it’s interesting.

Ah, and since I’ve touched the body vs. brain matter, take a look at those two stanzas! You make a neat and tidy house - where and house is the body (limited, perishable) and I make a good and steady friend, a companion through life – where friend/companion refer to the mind (never limited, always reliable and prolific). In both cases, ‘to make’ means ‘to represent’. The body is a GOOD WORKER, does everything by the book, limited by the boundaries of its working systems. The mind likes to PLAY.

LE:

With the last two verses changed into Sadly I have not a friend where you’re taking me, their meaning changed a bit as well, yet not that much. If her friend is her mind/ imagination/ freedom, it means that the place she’s dragged towards is the opposite of that. Reality. She’s still reluctant to that, because she pushes her chin up towards the sky, hence fantasy.

Another verse that has changed is Recognizing time has passed. It’s part of the chorus, therefore is uttered by reality MO/ the body. It makes a lot of sense, because time is the measure of reality and of the body. Mind and fantasy are not subdued to time, therefore, on their realm, time is being denied.

Really love how the body and the mind are being portrayed. Remember when I was talking about how characters were being represented in Wuthering Heigths (the river stone and the cliff rock metaphors)? It’s how it is being done here as well. The body – that is the surface – is polished, it looks perfect, calm, strong, whereas the mind looks troubled, ravished, as if out from a battle.

Purchase ’good worker’ on iTunes
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Purchase ’good worker’ on JunoDownload

2020k’s audio analysis of good worker here.

iamamiwhoami; drops

6

If you can’t avoid it, go through it.

Take the plunge.

plunge

drop = the act of falling; free fall, descent

Lyrics (approx.):

Give up, let down
Can’t believe what I found
(Be quiet, be silent, be words from your mouth)

Build up from ground
Wipe clean of your frowns
(Dance around, be fry, be right on crown)

When my fault (Come back)
Costs you all (Come back)
Sticks like glue
Obstructs my view

Speak up, adapt
Watch closely, keep track
(Tonight, we ride. Don’t use your time)

Thin line to walk
No time to stall
(We try to hide. Don’t waste our time)

Give up, let down
Can’t believe what I found (Found, found)
(Be quiet, be silent, be words from your mouth)

Build up from the ground
Wipe clean of your frowns (Frowns, frown)

One more fault
Costs you all

Until I’m through

(wikia)

So glad drops is a clear continuation of the story in sever! After watching drops, I can now understand what the big hairy clump might actually stand for. Her worst fear. Real life. Think about it: the door it comes through in sever is located on the same wall as the window – a clear sign of the outside. The arguing during the same video must have probably been an invitation in the real world, answered with a refusal. Reality hits you hard, right? Has a sneaky way of making you embrace it. Unless you’re in a special state of mind, of course.

Drops begins with MO dancing comfortably by herself. As music increases in intensity (such a B reminder!), she seems to enter deeper and deeper into her trance. Her moves are wider, more fluent, her swirls get ampler, she even seems to enjoy it. Alone, in her safe world.

‘Is it gone? Did I dance it away? ‘

She turns around and there it is… Still being… The disappointment on her face! It almost hurts not to be able to escape it. She takes a deep breath and a little bit of strength seems to be emerging in her bones. It looks like the Clump might have gotten a little bit dizzy from all her frenzied dance. Could it be possible that it’s dead? As she decides to check, she approaches it and the creature twitches one last time. Pretty much out.

‘Maybe if I go through it, it won’t see me anymore. It won’t follow.’

She steps on it carefully, her feet betraying reticence. One last look, she arranges her palms as for a planned descent and she begins her plunge. For that’s what it is. Just like Alice in Wonderland, she takes not one, but multiple drops through floors and ceilings. She crosses so many levels, smashing each wall she encounters, turning it to dust. Behind her, a tunnel made of many holes. Does it hurt, this fall? It looks like it does. It’s a free fall into her dream/consciousness/imagination. This is the way towards yet another world. An even deeper level of her imagination. Hopefully one which reality won’t be able to disturb because it won’t be able to reach.

As MO keeps falling, we’re being shown what’s going on in the building across. First, a man trying to keep another Clump out of his room. The man is afraid, he’s exhausted from holding the door, drops of sweat on his skin. He looks outside his windows and he sees MO falling. In another room, a familiar figure, Little Clump, approaches the window and he too sees MO’s descend. Somehow, the little creature seems to be afraid of this image, because it immediately retreats and hides from the view. Why is that? In the same room, what looks like a sick person lays on the bed. And there it is… All these people are ’sick’ people. Remember the inverted commas. All these people avoid reality (please remember the Bullett interview and the dichotomy ‘your world’ – ‘our world’). They’re ‘mentally ill’ persons, inside an institution, each of them undergoing a certain stage of their ‘treatment’ (hence I am not referring at mentally ill persons literally, but at people undergoing changes, mainly spiritual ones, people finding ‘cures’ for their ’sickness’). The first man is close to being ready for the plunge, reality is really trying to get him. The second person, the one on the bed, is calmer, he’s just starting the treatment, the representation of his reality is a child Clump. In the end, at least one of them would have to free fall.

Back to our lady. As she reaches the lower level of the building, the garage, we can see how violent the fall has been. Pieces of concrete cover her body. We are immediately shown the silhouette of  an old friend – the Volvo in T and In Concert – covered in plastic, as if waiting for her. No one else is around. Is it possible that she has reached the realm she wanted to reach? The fact that we’re in a garage and there’s a car waiting makes me think of a planned escape.

She’s close. As she strives to collect herself, she looks around once more to see whether she’s alone. On the hood of the Volvo – Clump. It clearly appeared in this very moment! It must have followed her down in her mind. It gets down from the car and starts marching towards MO. The latter fights to gather her body and her strengths. Something seems to drag her down still, something heavy. The thing surrounding her head – a concrete helmet. As she rises, we notice we’re dealing with a different MO – a warrior (she’s wearing a helmet, her body is protected by an armor and she also has a sword in her hand – a clear reference to her male counterpart, the knight in Y). To me, the act of leaving the helmet on the ground is a sign of her ‘losing her mind’. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. As I said before, one must lose himself when transforming himself. And this is what we’ve been witnessing through drops: a transformation. The vulnerable, tormented woman in sever becomes a determined strong warrior.The lyrics accompanying these images are suggestive. ‘Build up from ground’ remind us about deconstruction and reconstruction. Her body covered in concrete is a literal representation of reconstruction. Her weak body is reinforced with this concrete armor. Her ‘thin walls’ are rebuilt.

warrior

As she looks Clump in his face (!), she analyzes the situation and she decides she doesn’t need to use her sword to defeat him, so she drops it. This is not going to be that sort of fight. And how changed her attitude towards Clump is! At times, she even looks defiant. Visibly upset by this attitude, the creature starts to replicate itself, a thing which MO doesn’t expect. It’s how one’s fears manifest themselves. They hit hard, they attack from multiple parts, they always seem to be more than they appear. In the end, there are five Clumps surrounding her, with MO constantly analyzing her options. The positions of both Clumps and Jonna describe a prey surrounded by its hunters. A moment of silent, motionless tension, and then the Clumps begin their attack. The camera moves towards the center, focuses on MO, who bends her body forward, then straightens herself, closes her eyes and prepares for whatever comes. Is it going to be an impact? Are they going to fight? Is she going to imagine them away, make them disappear? We cannot tell for sure, but the fact that the last images in the video are concentrated on the vehicle (a means of escape), I think suggest that she’s in for a departure.

The audio in drops is very interesting and it comes to complete the imagery of the warrior and of the (internal/spiritual) fight. Those drums really sound like an incantation of a warrior goddess/ perfected self, they remind me of the rituals of passage/transformation in the ancient times.

Last, but not least, Jonna Lee’s interpretation of this MO is absolutely amazing. Her facial expressions and her body language are simply amazing! I mean we already knew this, but she keeps on getting better and better, it’s almost annoying :)

Some interesting details:

- the function of the plug

socket

- some things MO took with her during her fall, among which a plastic fork, a telephone, a blow dryer

details

- love the beautiful parallel they made during the falling scene between MO’s falling and the man’s beads of sweat dropping (1:44). While MO’s act was a courageous act (voluntary plunge), the man’s sweat represents him still being afraid. It’s a nice antithesis.

I’m mentioning again how sad it is that we cannot make the most out of the lyrics of this song. But kin doesn’t seem so far away anymore and I’m sure we’ll have them in June. In the meantime, I am definitely waiting for the development of the story in good worker. Two weeks!

Read 2020K’s Audio review of drops through here

Purchase drops on iTunes
Purchase drops on Amazon
Purchase drops on JunoDownload

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