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Lyrical School, “RUN and RUN” (2016) (GIF by the author for Hyperallergic)

Japanese hip-hop idol group Lyrical School‘s newest video, for the track “RUN and RUN,” is a bit like an iPhone ad on acid, or a Luddite’s nightmarish parody of what goes on in the worlds of screen-addicted teenagers. The vertical video unfolds as a series of bubblegum clips and snapshots displayed within various app interfaces: iMessage, iPhoto, Twitter, Gmail, FaceTime, Vimeo. Think of it as a player piano for the digital age — as Lyrical School puts it, “You might feel as if your smartphone is taken over and operated on its own!” Or hacked by the group itself.

Idol groups, for the uninitiated, are young stars marketed as kawaii role models and fawned over in J-pop culture. In this four-minute hyperlapse, Lyrical School’s six female idols bop around in matching tennis outfits and terrycloth sweatbands, take grinning selfies and text at the speed of light, then dissolve into a dizzying infinite regress of tweeted photos. If it’s all a little disturbing, that’s probably because it’s like watching your whole technology-consumed life flash before your eyes.

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Carey Dunne

Carey Dunne is a Brooklyn-based writer covering arts and culture. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Baffler, The Village Voice, and elsewhere.