Paul Roquet researches the mediated moods of contemporary Japan.
Paul Roquet studies the formal aesthetics and cultural politics of environmental media in contemporary Japan, focusing on the mediation of mood and emotion. His first book, Ambient Media: Japanese Atmospheres of Self (Minnesota, 2016), explores how Japanese media aesthetics and modes of engagement transformed in tandem with a post-1970s culture of relaxing design. Examining the deployment of calming moods in electronic music, video art, film, and literature, the book offers a theory of how ambient aesthetics depart from earlier trends in background music and video, throwing a diffuse and sometimes critical light over an emerging neoliberal therapy culture.
Roquet’s current book project focuses on the automation of emotional labor within Japanese computational environments. The first part of this project, on growing up with and through augmented reality glasses, was published in the journal Animation. Other work on spatial emotions in Japanese animation has appeared in venues including Representations and Mechademia. At MIT Roquet teaches courses including Digital Media in Japan and Korea, Cinema in Japan and Korea, and Introduction to Japanese Culture.