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March 16, 2010

Who is iamamiwhoami?

I've been following this iamamiwhoami viral campaign for awhile now thanks to Oh No They Didn't, so I thought I'd share the creeptastic goodness with all of you. If you're not familiar with it, basically a mystery artist calling herself iamamiwhoami has been uploading these videos to YouTube and sending them to some music blogs for the last couple of months, and there's been a big guessing game about who she might be. The videos are...well, no summary that I do is going to be better than just watching them. Here are the first six videos in the order that they were released (if you're the type of person who's really easily creeped out, don't watch these alone/in the dark/before bed/whatever):

There's a great summary and analysis of the mandragora imagery in the videos at Necessary Voodoo, so it's a good place to start if you find this whole thing interesting:

These videos are based on the myth of mandragora as an anthropomorphic figure: For more information, read about the myth in it's entirety here. The gist of these video clips are the life of a mandragora: It's conception, it's womb-state, it's birth, it's life after birth, it's coming of age. The animals in each video are allegories for the video it's self...in video one, you have footage of a goat in the throes of labor. In video one, you also have our little mandragora, in the throes of labor, albeit from the baby's point of view. In video four, you have a carpenter bee, an animal who creats it's nest by drilling holes into trees. In video four, you also have our mandragora 'nesting' by drilling and fucking up some trees. Video five, a llama spits at it's aggressors. Video five, again, mandragora spits at it's aggressors (dogs)--which of course, goes along with the mandragora mythos and their interconnection with black dogs.

The 'serious' guesses about who iamamiwhoami might be ranged from Christina Aguilera (some of her fans really really wanted it to be her) to The Knife to Goldfrapp to Lykke Li. The totally unserious guesses were hilarious: Paris Hilton, Heidi Montag, Ke$ha, Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, and so on. But the recently released seventh video has produced the best theory so far about the identity of iamamiwhoami:

After this video was released, several ONTD members did some detective work and concluded that iamamiwhoami is Swedish singer Jonna Lee. The investigation really gets going in this post and then continues into this one. (You have to be an ONTD member to see the second one but you can get the idea from the first, or you can just take my word for it.) It's pretty convincing, so some music blogs quickly ran with it and even MTV got involved, which is only shocking in the sense that it's MTV bothering to care about a music-related story.

Here's Jonna:

She's performing at SXSW this week, so if she is iamamiwhoami that may be when some kind of reveal happens. Personally, I like the music and I appreciate someone trying to do something kinda weird and creative and different, so I'll keep following to see what's next. What do you all think? Is it Jonna, or someone else? Do you care? Do you like the music? Are viral campaigns like this cool, or a waste of time? Are you hungry for one of those strawberry cake things now?

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