In recent weeks there’s been considerable curiosity about a new YouTube account entitled “iamamiwhoami.” So far, there are three very high quality experimental clips, involving various nature shots, some wiggling disembodied limbs, and a blonde woman covered in mud, writhing in murky green water, and performing cunnilingus on a tree. The most watched video was getting close to 150,000 views before it was reuploaded, (not quite full viral, but getting there, especially considering that its a new account started only recently), and the comments section is ripe with speculation.
The conflict is this – the videos are provocative, innovative and intriguing, suggesting a new, highly creative artist. On the other hand, they’re high quality, and the tactic of promotion implies someone who knows a thing or two about running a viral marketing campaign. So while many are hoping for someone new, many seem to be resigning themselves to the belief that its a scheme by some established female artist like Christina Aguilera or Lady Gaga (its not the latter I can tell you that, its just not her style, not yet anyway, though the whole wriggling arms thing does kind of remind me of her piano at the Grammy’s).
I have this much to say – if it is Christina Aguilera, or someone like her (she’s the prime suspect because she has a highly anticipated upcoming album entitled “Bionic,” and has a habit of heavily reinventing herself), I will be incredibly impressed, and not because I think she has reached new creative heights or anything like that. Everything is derived from something, nothing is completely new, and it wouldn’t take too much effort for a well-paid promotional team to slap something together that is at the proper level of pretense. What impresses me – or would, if this is in fact the work of a high profile recording artist – is that she has the guts to appear so utterly not pretty.
My first impression of iamamiwhoami’s most recent upload, which I discovered courtesy of Susannah Breslin’s blog, was, well, zombies. I didn’t even notice the strawberry cake floating around in the water until after several views, all I think about was her green limbs and how that look of decay contrasted with the sparkling look of the water. Then there’s the image of a goat giving birth in the first video, and the aforementioned oral activity on plant life in the second, all amounting to something that is while intriguing and aesthetically pleasing to those who wish to be pleased in such a way like myself, it is incredibly uncomplimentary to the star of the show. At least from a traditional, pop culture standpoint. If we do in fact have an established, mainstream artist involved here, then it seems like an attempt to break beauty molds as well as creative ones.
However, if a pop star is the culprit, I am aware that more likely what is happening is someone just trying to get attention, and paying some very talented people to make it seem credible. The fixation on the girl in videos is what betrays the actual purpose. Her face is pointedly obscured, but still glamorized with enormous false eyelashes and shockingly platinum hair. There’s also several references to birthing and embryos, indicating a new beginning, a reinvention, and the fact that the the screen name used is asking the question – who am I? Implying that it is indeed someone of significance. All of it are cliched means of drawing attention to a single point.
I don’t particularly care who it is – Christina Aguilera (I don’t actually think it looks like her, but then again, I’m not really sure what she looks like anymore), Massive Attack, some ex-American Idol contestant, or maybe Sneaker Pimps finally got that female vocalist they were looking for. But whoever it is they’ve certainly done a good job of both catching my attention and impressing me at the same time. The videos are fun to look at and the music’s pretty awesome too. And its not just the quality of the work, but its audacity as well. Whatever it is, something interesting certainly is coming. The question is whether I’ll be disappointed if it is Christina Aguilera or not.