Paul Roquet researches the ambient dimensions of contemporary media and technology in Japan.
Roquet’s 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 research focuses on context-aware ambient computing, and what it reveals about the mediation of Japanese society in the twenty-first century. The first part of this project, on growing up with and through augmented reality glasses, was published recently in the journal Animation. Other work 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.