And I say to myself, “What?”

Exploring the depth of new media: performance art on Tik Tok


Matthew Kern, Managaing Editor

In today’s social climate, with the seemingly limitless stream of content being created by internet users every day, it can be difficult to appreciate the time and effort that goes into creating every second of that content. It can also be difficult to appreciate the toll that modern creativity takes on the creator. The internet today has become a nest of fervent demand for new content, incredibly decisive, yet always desiring more. Tik Tok user Molly McCrann,known as “Moldoga” on the app recently finished a performance-art piece which uniquely captures the highs and lows of what it is to be a content creator.

The concept is simple.

Actually, it is amazingly simple.

Tik Tok user Molly McCrann, known as “Moldoga” on the app recently finished a performance-art piece which uniquely captures the highs and lows of what it is to be a content creator. (Photos courtesy of Molly McCrann)

In her first video, McCrann performs a cover of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” but only vocalizes the sound of “S’s” as they appear in the song. The track to the song plays as normal, but she does not sing a single other letter besides “S” every time it appears in the lyrics. The resulting sound is odd, to say the least.

A week later, however, she released another video, stitched to the original. This time she would sing only the “T’s.” A couple of days later she would sing the “L’s.” Only this time, she had added a floating caption, which read“(3/26.)” It had become clear she was planning to sing the entire song one letter at a time.

One could say that this project was ambitious, or pointless, or hilarious and all of the above would be correct. It would have been enough to see her sing the song one letter at a time and to see if it became at all intelligible in the end, but McCrann takes the art of the piece a step further. The first video of the series was released on Nov. 7, the last was released Jan. 15. Over the intervening months, followers of the series seem to have seen McCrann fall into a type of internet frenzy. Around the letter “K,” letter “6/26”, viewers can notice a few off details compared to those preceding. Her hair appears somewhat messier, the wire of her microphone has a knot in it and her makeup is less put-together.

Soon enough, the madness begins to take over.

As the series continues, McCrann’s appearance becomes more and more unhinged. Each time she drops a new video, her hair is even more tangled, her makeup is even more messy, the collar of her shirt shows signs of a struggle, and she appears ever more distraught.

After Christmas, the videos began to take a startling turn. Rather than her usual blank stare into the camera, as the soundtrack plays, McCrann can be seen glancing off camera, giving the distinct impression that she is not alone.

The last two weeks of the project would be centered around a series of companion videos entitled “The Reveal.” After each letter drop, McCrann would then post another video, where she would gently hum the song to herself cowering in fear from an off-screen villain, identified only by a gloved hand. It seems silly to try to avoid spoilers for a Tik Tok series, but to ruin the

Reveal in this piece also seems to be in bad taste. Suffice it to say, uncovering the mysteries of this odd performance-art piece is a fascinating endeavor.

McCrann’s cover of “What a Wonderful World” is something to behold. It is the art of a new age. It is abstract and surreal, yet somehow poignant. The character McCrann plays of herself in this piece appears increasingly more distraught and the followers love it. One can see how the ridiculousness of this project has begun to take over the character, and yet each video receives hundreds of thousands of likes. Running jokes began to form in the comment section. A faction of commenters identifying as “Team Consonant” came together to put forth their theory that she would never add vowels to the series (she eventually did, but saved them for last). And somehow in all the absurdity, McCrann actually starts to make an interesting point. Her character becomes increasingly more stressed, pumping out content, turning a stupid joke into a two-month endeavor. The pressure to create content, to keep the fans happy, seemingly weighs on her distressed psyche, juxtaposed by the dulcet tone of Louis Armstrong.

Why would anyone create this? For the likes, as insane as that sounds.

Moldoga has captured that insanity, with her piecewise-cover of What a Wonderful World.