Roman Meunier

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with London-based French installation artist Romain Meunier.  His work deals with human/public responses to unusual sensory interaction – his work is very playful, free, open-ended and encourages people to participate and respond in their own way.

There is lots to like about his work; the experience of the ‘unusual’, in the sense that the actions themselves are uncommon in our day to day lives, such as suddenly hearing a guitar string plucked high above us, or how our shadows might affect a sound.  I was drawn to how immediate the reactions were and how quickly the participants dropped adult/cultural standards of behaviour to continue to play.  This really links in with some of my themes and concepts.

There is a opportunity to work collaboratively with Romain and my peers, which I am very enthusiastic about.  Although such a project is not designed to be integral to my own project per se, the nature of Romain’s work is very much in the same theoretical vein as my own lines of enquiry.  It would therefore be very beneficial for me to participate, make and observe both the affects and effects as a maker and as an ‘end-user’, as well as giving me a case-study environment to draw parallels to my own personal practice.

So far I’m imagining injecting elemnts of unexpected fun into a serious environment… For example, imagine an office where the tapping of keyboards is replaced by random, xylophonic noises.  How would that affect our feelings about the workplace, and the act of working?  At first it sounds irritation, but why is work work, and why play is play? Is there the possibility for work to also be play, in the most banal of environments?

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