September 5, 8, 9, 15, 2017: SMU Arts Festival “Pages”

The Singapore Management University (SMU) Chamber Choir (cond. Jennifer Tham) premiere a newly commissioned work #HashtagAnalytics (text by Michael Yarsky). Visit the festival page here.

#HashtagAnalytics is a millennial, social commentary on social media and its various effects in our lives today, presented in choral theater art form.

While browsing my Facebook newsfeed, I saw a clickbait video that shows how people curate their image and “personal brand” through social media. I thought this would be an interesting way to bring “Pages” to the digital age (webpages) and relate it to today’s social milieu. Thus, the idea for #HashtagAnalytics was born. Writer Michael Yarsky juxtaposed his original text with curated source text from Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags as search prompts.

#wokeuplikethis is about how a post about one’s appearance becomes an all-consuming quest for others’ approval. Social media often merges the need for validation with the need to put other people down.

#throwbackthursday is about how the beauty and terribleness of the world is presented at a breakneck pace on social media. The onslaught of small, beautiful moments and global catastrophes leaves people in a state of emotional confusion. This text tries to remind people that small moments of goodness are just as important to remember as the great tragedies.

#sorrynotsorry addressed the urge to be a part of a group while also needing to be above others. The text is from Twitter users who have used the italicized hashtags while also drawing boundaries of superiority around themselves.



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