iamamiwhoami – Semiotics UnderCover


Category : Entertainment, art


- decoding iamamiwhoami – the beginnings

- A Closer Look To iamamiwhoami’s b Video

iamamiwhoami’s o video

- u-1

- u-2

- n from Nature/Natural

- T – back in the kingdom we were Kings and Queens

- And this is Y all that’s left is Hope

- Iamamiwhoami – 20101001 – Volunteer

- Identity in Iamamiwhoami

- An Archetypal and Mythological Approach to Iamamiwhoami

- Iamamiwhoami – The Book Of Changes – Hexagram Theory

- Iamamiwhoami – Media Coverage

Iamamiwhoami has gotten us used to all these clues and all these symbols throughout the entire campaign, it was almost impossible not to leave some hidden messages in the covers of the BOUNTY singles!

But first, some general things concerning the appearance and content of the covers.


Hand writing is a means of personal recognition. It functions like a finger print. If the fingerprint can establish the physical appearance of an individual by leading directly to his identity, analyzing the writing of a person could lead to the discovery of that person’s psychic. The lines on the iamamiwhoami covers appear to be written with the help of a writing machine. This suggest that the content is meant to be general and impersonal. Neither the sender of the message, nor the recipient are supposed to be pointed out, not even implied.  This is sustained strongly by the expression ‘To whom it may concern.”, which  is a formal salutation used for opening letters to an unknown recipient.

The fact that the writing is not written directly on the covers, but is pre-written on pieces of white (again, as general as possible) paper and then glued on suggests: a) again, like in those crime movies, the sender is totally detached and doesn’t want to be known and b) the content is made for mass distribution, therefore it’s faster to stick ‘etiquettes’ on than to write on so many times.


The content of all covers consists of two lines:

1. To whom it may concern. The impersonal character of this expression reaches its higher limit. It doesn’t say ‘to whom this may concern’, so the sender detaches himself from the destiny of his message. The formulaic is similar to ‘this communication is intended for anyone that it has importance for’, or ‘to the person that cares or who it’s basically for’. This ‘concern’ is important, because it has the power to render the idea that the recipient cares for the message, a thing that implies a humane feeling.

2. iamamiwhoami; b/o/u-1/n/t/y The position in which this line is placed, implies that this concerns the sender of the message and the content.


Punctuation is very important in establishing meaning in communication:

1. ‘.’ (full stop) – The full stop (dot) indicates a finished thought or sentence. It’s commonly used in statements. A statement is a declarative proposition that has a meaning which is either true or false. The full stop is also known as ‘period’. When we say “You’re not going out, period!” we deny any type of feed back from our listener, we don’t give him a chance to even try to change our mind. Usually, in letters, ‘to whom it may concern’ is followed by a comma, so iamamiwhoami has placed that full stop over there with a purpose.

It’s like they’re saying: if you care, open this package, if you don’t, it doesn’t matter, we still have other 5 (at least) prepared! But you, my friends, could be privileged. Aren’t you curious of what’s inside? Haha! No, I’ve said it before, it’s the way in which they chose to show they are launching a new artistic product on the market. Any product like that is first destined to those who care (like the genre) or who are inquisitive enough to give it a listen.

2. ‘;’ (semicolon) – In elder times, the semicolon mark was used to separate words of opposed meaning, and to indicate interdependent statements, but the modern uses of the semicolon relate either to the listing of items, or to the linking of related clauses. In this case, it relates the sender to the content of the message. It resembles ‘by iamamiwhoami, concerning b/o/u/n/t/y’, or, if we think of the listing of items: ‘iamamiwhoami’s artistic products; b/o/u/n/t/y’ Thus, we should have known we were in for more since the first cover.

Again, the normal appearance of this line should have been ‘iamamiwhoami: b’ (as in b, by iamamiwhoami, or iamamiwhoami’s b), therefore, the semicolon has a special purpose, probably that of drawing the recipient of the message towards the final result: bounty.

And now, to the analyzing of other signs on the covers.

B cover

The cover for b seems to be a cardboard envelope. An envelope is a packaging means. Metaphorically, it is a content/meaning bearer. The meaning of a cardboard envelope is: an impersonal message that bears a secret and makes the reader vow secrecy. To whom it may concern is, of course, placed where the destination is usually written on an envelope, when one sends a letter.

This is a clear message from iamamiwhoami: I have something big/important to say and the way I am doing it is by sending a ‘cardboard envelope’ to important people. That is I have a revolutionary message to transmit to the world and I’m starting by sending my music to the people who (might) like it.

Cardboard is often encountered in the iamamiwhoami’s videos. Again, I consider it – in all its forms: envelope, box – a bearer of meaning. We mustn’t forget that cardboard boxes are in fact cubes, which are perfect shapes in space geometry.


O video

The cover of O seems to be a piece of wood. As opposed to the B video, when ‘to whom it may concern’ was glued to an envelope, therefore the message was sent to the reader, with O, the reader is drawn to hear the message at the location. It’s like to whom it may concern is marking a point of evidence: O happened here. Inside the house, of course.

If you take a closer look, right under the ‘to whom’ etiquette, you can distinguish a substance, which appears to be liquid, by no means belonging to or coming from the wood, but which rather seems to be spat on. I’m thinking glue. By the looks of it and how it tends to drip, the piece of wood stands vertically, gravitation doing its thing. This is not floor wood. This is the edge of something, probably of a door. The aspect of the wood is faded, it has a darker, more porous texture and it has all sorts of defects, like scratches and stains. This is an old piece of wood. It reminds me of how the house looked in the 6th pre-vid.

What’s important is that wood represents one of the most often encountered in the entire campaign. If this is on the upper part of the cadre of a door, like in the beginning of B video, then it means ‘you’re here, this is the location’.

I’m not totally confident this is what the cover of O portrays. I may not see things as they actually are. I’m sure there’s more.


U-1, U-2 cover

The wood on the U-1 cover has the power to shine, thus looking a little bit more polished than the O one. This time we’re dealing with a piece of veneer. Probably the one inside the wooden house. The only abnormal things in the pictures are the scratches and the fact that the ‘to whom’ is placed in an awkward position, which makes tilt our heads to the right to read it properly. This could be a signal of the fact that the campaign suddenly goes in a weird direction. I remember the first time I saw u-1 ans u-2, I was shocked. Also, this could be telling the picture should be rotated once towards right in order to get it right. The scratches are a sign of some sort of conflict. I remember the Mandra scratching wood. Probably to get out, to be free.

Also, ‘iamamiwhoami; u-1′ is placed a little bit to the left, but I’m thinking is for the sake of the design. Those wooden ‘eyes’ look pretty awesome, especially when you’re looking at the wood in a vertical position.

However, the image shows the pieces of wood horizontally, which means they have been placed like that with a specific purpose. I am thinking… there are three of them… they might be referring to the three levels of consciousness: the conscious, subconscious and unconscious. It could make sense, as one is darker than the other (check the dark spots), as one level hides more than the other.

if so, the scatches could represent what gets to the surface and the dark spots are the things which are well hidden.


N cover

We finally have the provenience of the pieces of paper ‘to whom’ and ‘iamamiwhoami’ came from on all other covers. The N cover consists of clean white paper, no cuts, just layered and a pin. I suppose we’re in the house from where everything was sent.

Paper is another important element in the iamamiwhoami campaign. At first we were thinking it has to do with wood again (and it does, still) and the process through which wood becomes paper (one of the stages being cardboard). Then we discovered about that knight story and his lady page, and everything started to make a little bit more sense, but the truth is nothing is sure.

Flying sheets of paper could imply the unfolding of the course of a story. In N, therefore on its cover, sheets of paper build the walls of a house in the forest and they cover mirrors, to prevent them from reflecting what dwells in the house.

The design of the cover is simple, the lines are in place, just like in a formal letter towards an unknown recipient. The only interesting thing is that there are 6 sheets of paper. Count them! They’re 6! Held together by the pin. 6 stories. 6 scripts for 6 complete videos. Remember the kid director in N?


T cover

Aaaah, the foil again… :)

Ok, so the cover of T is a piece of aluminum foil, which has been used for wrapping something, after which it has been stretched in order to reveal the content. In this case, the two lines. As if the reader of this message found an aluminum foil ball on the ground and when it opened it, that’s what was inside.

Or this piece of used aluminum foil it’s being reused and given another purpose in ‘life’ (that of a messenger) than that of a means of packaging. I remember when I was little I used to unwrap the tin foil the chocolate candies were wrapped in and use it for collage paintings. I could see a little bit of ‘my’ stretching technique under ‘to whom’ and ‘iamami’, lol! I used to stretch it with a coin!


Y cover

One of my favorite covers, because it’s the most ambiguous. I see hair, a lot of it and two types of it: straight and curly. This is quite simple: the straight hair belongs to the wild Mandragora while the curled one stands for the beauty in Y. But metaphorically… that’s another story.

If you have read “Wuthering Heights’, you would know how Catherine, the main character, used to describe the loves of her life. Because she loved two men: an educated, rich man and a poor, uneducated (but very shecshey, aha), violent one. That left aside, she used to describe the educated one as a river stone, as in polished and having a smooth surface and shape, and she used to describe the wild one as a cliff rock, as in unpolished and very rough.

Can you see what I am hinting at?

Ok, now, the fact that these pieces of hair are laying on the ground is very important. Because it’s a sign that the campaign is over and we’re heading for a reveal. It’s like Jonna left her wigs aside, the wigs being part of her cover. It’s like Mandra has completed her cycle and is now just a mask.

Oh, hey… and check this out:

Llamas have two types of fiber-guard hair and undercoat hair. The guard hair usually grows faster, is hollow, courser and straighter than the undercoat. These guard hair tends to effect snow and rain and help to run off water, debris tends not stick to the guard hair. The undercoat usually is finer, with much more crimp than the guard hair. These two factors create more loft which keep the llama warmer in winter by trapping in the body heat and in the summer allows the wind to cool the body better.

I guess we’ll see in the next video.


semicolon mark to separate words of opposed meaning, and to indicate interdependent statements

And this is Y all that’s left is Hope


Category : Entertainment, art

Where’s your crown, King Nothing? (Metallica)


- decoding iamamiwhoami – the beginnings
- A Closer Look To iamamiwhoami’s b Video
- iamamiwhoami’s o video
- u-1
- u-2
- n from Nature/Natural
- T – back in the kingdom we were Kings and Queens
- And this is Y all that’s left is Hope

- Iamamiwhoami – The Book Of Changes – Hexagram Theory

- Iamamiwhoami – Sources of Inspiration
- Identity in iamamiwhoami
- An Archetypal and Mythological Approach to iamamiwhoami
- iamamiwhoami official youtube channel

Did you ever notice that on a chess board the king is the most vulnerable, powerless piece of all? And yet, only the King can secure the victory in a game of chess.

Y is here. Let’s watch it and see what everything is all about.

WOW! It’s great to see the iamamiwhoami concept outdoing itself! With each video being better than the previous, you’d think the task is becoming more and more difficult. It might quite be so, but the results… just wow!

There are a couple of theories that fly above our heads, each sustained with different arguments. I’ve always walked on the perverting of Nature by humans idea, and I could easily see many items to confirm this theory. Looking at MO as being the representation of Nature and at Mr. Underpants as being the representation of humanity itself, I would just conclude Y is showing us how Nature is continually trying to teach the human being how not to destroy it and how each and every time the human being manages to f*ck things up (excuse the language, but it quite its the mood of the video, if you know what I mean) and fail, with dead nature getting re-born over and over again and the human being given yet another chance to try.

Little hope is us. We’re the baby in the video. Remember n? You are the child filming. Little hope. I remember what my grandfather used to tell me: we failed at making this world a better place, it’s in you, the youngsters, to do it. You are the only ones able to induce and complete this change. When we’re young, we’re ambitious children directing stories of ourselves.

As we grow up, we become confused Mr. Underpants. The King and the Knight are one and the same thing. The two sides of a human being: the passive psychic (powerful by nature, but very weak and vulnerable in will) and the active psychic (powerless by nature, but very strong when covered by protective armor, also instinctively violent). In the symbolism of the tarot cards, these two are the equivalents of  The King of Wands and The Knight of Swords. If you read a little bit about both of them, you’ll see what I mean by those two sides.

Plus: Mandrake grows under the gallows of unrepentant murderers, springing up from the criminal’s last semence. It must be uprooted in a particular manner, as the piercing groans of agony are so horrible that whoever hears it will die, or go deaf and insane. In the moonlight, the harvester must put wax in the ears, draw three circles around the plant with a sword or willow wand, and use a dog to actually uproot it.

I cannot move away from that cat! This time, it makes monkey noises, as expected. The thing about a monkey is that to me it looks like a representation of a joker (a fool). You know… the Joker in a court, the one who entertains everybody and who, in his madness, always speaks the truth? Also, in my previous analysis of other iamamiwhoami videos, I was referring at the cat as being a demon or some sort of cruel divinity. I am going to move up to the point where I could consider it a representation of God. The cat is moving around freely among glasses, forks and spoons and it even sits on its butt on a plate for cryin’ out loud! The cat is the story teller (Tell me how this story ends now), the path director.

As we enter Mr. Underpants’ realm, we find him as The King of Nothing, a king of waste, of duct tape. He might have a throne, but it’s placed in a dark, empty palace ans it’s made of duct tape. It’s clear he has failed in becoming what he has been suggested to become in ‘t’. His crown, scepter, orb and entire palace are made of the same material his beard is made of: brown, faded tape. Far from the precious foil of the Mandragora. Even more, he has no idea what to do with these items. He is stopping under their weight. Maybe he doesn’t give a damn either. His lethargic attitude speaks for itself. The way he wastes paper shows his lack of consideration for Nature (trees, as the material paper is made of) and everything else around him. As he marches towards nothing specific, leaving aside his royal regalia possessions, he moves both in space and in time. This is his pathetic try to become active. His walk has nothing of the proud walk of the Mandragora in T. His walk says “I’m too lazy o be a King, I’m self-sufficient”.

Don’t get fooled by the foil surrounding everything in MO’s realm, as this one looks more precious than the one the car in T was wrapped in. This foil is glass looking. It sparkles and it speaks ‘preciousness’. Because it protects precious things. Look on the ground of the forest: it’s full of waste. The trees are practically drowning in waste.

The light bulb is nothing but a direct reference to Little Hope. It’s the small light of hope. The light at the end of the tunnel, as we say. And you can see how this little light bulb has the power to light all the forest in the end. First a sparkle, then a fire. First one little bulb then numerous large neon lights. Also, if you look at the entire scene, it could be an allegory of a child being born and then going through life. We are all born having a small light upon our heads  – our life – and it’s up to us to live in such a way in which we make this life as luminous as possible. It’s our goal to make of ourselves successful individuals, powerful enough to produce light of ourselves, powerful enough to become someones, people whose paths of light would be known by others.

Alone in his empty kingdom, the only thing the King is left to do is to make sure he leaves a little hope behind. In real life, people procreate to make sure their species survives and their offspring do a better job at preserving nature and the environment. The King must be protected in order to win a game of chess, remember? No matter his weakness and his lack of skills in battle. On a board of chess, the king can only move a square. He has the same powers as a pawn. The only difference is the crown.

As the Mandragora leaves the realm of the King, worlds are reversed once more, and the King as left alone in his world, while another character appears, trying to save what’s left of the foiled Nature: the Knight. Or is it that this Knight in shining armor is actually the King who has disguised himself and is actually invading this world? The problem with the Knight is that, while it portrays triumph through direct action, it also implies angry, knee-jerk actions from a person. While he might act swiftly and with confidence, he is not as cautious of the sin of pride. When reversed, the Knight symbolizes the opposite of his upright meaning. He represents an individual’s state of mind marked by feelings of inadequacy or excessive hesitance. Clearly, the King cannot become a Knight, or should not aim at becoming a Knight. This is why he ends in killing the perverted nature and removing himself (the bad apple) as well from it, leaving room for a new future King, the baby.

Thus another cycle is complete, a new one begins, another MO bowl is being ‘fed’ and… well… I guess we’ll see what happens in the next video.

One thing I really liked about the knight is how he is portrayed. He belongs to the foil forest, he is part of it (or wants to be), as his armor is made of foil. Nevertheless, we can clearly see his undies. Then, he is being ‘named’ by his possessions. It’s interesting how the director of this video chose to make the knight kill the trees using all weapons knights fighting in crusades use: a sword, a lance, a bow, and an ax. I cannot make more of this apart from the denomination means. Maybe on an allegorical level. The many ways he pierces those trees as in the many ways to ‘penetrate’ during sexual intercourse.

Now, going on with the mythological approach, we can definitely see how the myth of the Mandragora Officinarum is being shaped and completed. Everything from the birth, to the growth of the MO is present. Even the outrageous ‘dead man’s semen’ we’ve all been avoiding for so long.

Last, but not least, sustaining an archetypal approach, friends from the best iamamiwhoami discussion channel ever have found analogies with the archetype of the German Goddess Alraune. Now, if you would be so kind to read this short wiki description of the myth, you would understand where this analogy comes from. Very similar to the MO myth. Naturally.

Maybe one of the biggest discoveries in what the inspiration for these videos is concerned is a passage from David Brown’s ‘Tchaikovsky the Man and His Music’ referring to the Mandragora. See the ‘About the Knight’ section at the end of this article for details. That is major discovery, especially if you think about the fact that we couldn’t make much of the usage of paper sheets in the iamamiwhoami concept. This changes many things, if you think of it. If the Mandragora morphs into a piece of paper to stick to her knight’s ankle in order to make him see her and fall in love in the end, then we sort of realize what King Underpants is really after.

However, we cannot restrain ourselves to judging the campaign from this point of view only. Because there are many elements that just wouldn’t fit. It’s clear this campaign is a modern interpretation of everything the myth of the Mandragora Officinarum implies, starting with the myth itself and continuing with all the shapes this archetype takes in other works of literature it has inspired.

Another thing that intrigues me is the stick man shaped plant in the black pot.


To me it looks like a double Y. Which makes a Psi (Greek alphabet). Which makes me think of a couple of analogies:

  • - Psi – 23rd letter in the Greek alphabet. Jonna Lee has one reference to Greece on her twitter account, I believe?
  • – Psi – as direct reference to psychology, to be more specific to a certain branch: parapsychology. read the first paragraph of the wiki description.
  • - Psi – more exactly the Psi-Theory and more specific the 5 basic needs that trigger behavior, among which species preserving needs (related to sexuality) and need for affiliation (signals of legitimacy).

I’m pretty sure there’s more to the black pot than the ye can see.


Little hope, little home of heavenly
Come and save us from this ugly truth
Little hope, sprung from necessity
May all good things in life come to you

Little ghost, so innocent and carefree
They would never stop hunting you
Little voice, life got the best of me
And in time that’s what awaits you too

Little hope, sing a song of fire
I know I’m to be just like that
Little hope, little hope, sing a song of fire

Little hope, love is on the inside
If you want, you dream of life now
Little hope, little hope, sing a song of fire

I’ve seen the truth and it’s nothing like you said
I’ve seen your picture of a perfect world
Now you can touch the halo around my crowned head
So many questions, so many things unsaid

Other opinions to sustain video analysis:

We are captain underpants. We long for videos like we long for drugs. We search through page after page of websites for clues and answers then got bored at some point. After getting a new vid, we become maniacs again, forming our own theories and stories (such as a knight in a fairytale), attacking haters and trolls (trees) and wrong information along the way. samchanso - YT iamamiwhoami community

I like that one, makes sense, of course. But as relevant as that might sound, the concept just has to be more profound, right?

‘captain underpants’ is father time- is usually depicted as an elderly bearded man, dressed in a robe, carrying a scythe and an hourglass or other timekeeping device(in B an hourglass is turned over) jonna represents mother nature- In prehistoric times, goddesses were worshiped for their association with fertility, fecundity, and agricultural bounty. As for the sixes-She had eaten six pomegranate seeds and had to spend six? months with Hades – six months that represent fall and winter. I’m guessing the strawberries are actually pomegranates. Jonna last updated her blog with ‘GREECE’ as the title. dreamedwonderland

That’s an interesting point of view and TheBizkitt has completed it perfectly:

I really like the idea that aside from being based on the mandrake it’s also based on the mythology of the six pomegranate seeds and Persephone… Persephone is the daughter of the Goddess Demeter… Ring a bell? She is essentially the goddess of BOUNTY. There are essentially other ties to Demeter, such as how T’s video bears resemblance to Salvador Dali’s painting based on the Empress Tarot Card… A tarot said to be usually tied with Demeter. And of course the setting of the first? videos are kind of like an underworld.


There is clear message of the videos going a long? with the theme of women are used + the environment is used. The discarding that you speak of Mandrake women doing is of a women leaving a man, who has essentially taken advantage of her and abusive (see the simulated rape scene in U-2)… The same way he abuses nature by wasting a lot of paper (which was once Trees). I see the foil forest scene as a sort of condensed telling of iamamiwhoami…? Kind of like a PLAY of sorts. The Mandrake woman gets the idea (a light-bulb) of leaving her *safe* womb and venturing off to the wilderness, only for a man (possibly in love with this women) to try and play the role of her protector her knight and shining armor, but ends up fucking everything up by destroying nature… The thing that had created the girl in the first place. I don’t think IAM kills the man, he kills himself. She only opens her eyes at the same time because she knows the part where he kills himself is coming, and is very pleased.

About the Knight:

“A knight falls in love with a beautiful lady, who spurns his affections. A feast at the castle. A minstrel sings a ballad about the omnipotent Mandragora. The knight searches in the secret forest for Mandragora. Night. Incantation. The Mandragora blossoms. The prince pulls it up from its roots—and it turns into a beautiful enchantress who, of course, immediately falls in love with him, and in the form of a page, attaches herself to his foot. However, the magic spell is cast, since in the knight’s beloved jealously is at first awakened, and then love. Finale—as a result of this reversal the unfortunate Mandragora turns back into a flower, and the lovers wed” samchanson via and via:1iam


At the end of everything, the thing that appears to be getting out of the pot is a sheet of paper/a letter:

GIF animations generator gifup.com

Other things I have noticed only after I got into the video frame by frame:

- owl throne


- foiled man’s head on the ground, bottom left, between trees: 5:27


- foiled dead soldier/knight laying on the ground, right beside Mandra: 3:20

foiled man on d ground

- what appear to be some cocoons, and if you’re watching carefully the scenes in the forest, there are many of them laying on the ground


I am also looking at Y as being the symbol for the virgula divina (a dowsing rod), a ‘tool’ which shows the way towards water or which has the power to discover hidden treasures. Symbolically, it shows the way towards the origin (water, as the source of life) and towards hidden inner resources (treasures – like creativity, for example – hidden deep inside one’s conscious).

In the same range of symbols, the way the tree MO is born out of looks is interesting. First, because it reminded me of those Vanuatu music instruments here, and second, because:


Compare the sign for Mo with:


The text is taken  from The Evolution of the Dragon by G. Elliot Smith, page 280. Read it here.

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