Boursier-Mougenot originally trained not as an artist but as a musician, at the Conservatory for Music in Nice. His time as composer for the avant-garde Pascal Rambert theatre company, from 1985 to 1994, pushed his work into more experimental realms. Starting in the early 1990s, he began to stage sound installations in art galleries, venues where his ideas for compositions could unfold over long stretches of time.
Zebra finches exemplify a stochastic system: living untamed integrated into a sculptural-sonic process, they satirize and question the uniqueness of human creativity. Flocks are networks governed by simple rules. Melodic improvisation is part randomization, part social: an activity that emphasizes the human capacity to project meanings onto patterns, to discern structure within sets.