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Michael Rodemer

Professor Emeritus
Affiliated Faculty, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

Photograph of Michael Rodemer


Curriculum Vitae
  • M.F.A. (Sculpture), Ohio State University
  • M.A. (Comparative Literature), Pennsylvania State University
  • Graduate Studies, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany
  • Undergraduate Studies, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany
  • B.A. (English and German), Michigan State University

Michael Rodemer’s multifaceted education, acquired in the United States, Germany, and France, encompasses degrees in German, English, Comparative Literature, and Sculpture. This dual interest in the written word and in the "word-become-material" has continued to inform his work.

Following graduate studies in sculpture, Rodemer returned to Germany, where he completed a series of commissioned neon sculptures mounted in trees in German cities. While teaching as a Lektor for American Studies at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität in Tübingen, he began developing art works that combined technology, sculptural media and literary elements. On the strength of this work, he was invited to join the faculty of the Art and Technology Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he remained for three years before accepting a position at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design.

Rodemer spent the 1999-2000 academic year in Berlin as a Fulbright Senior Scholar. During that time, he taught at the Hochschule für bildende Kunst in Hamburg as well as at the Hochschule für Kunst und Design Burg Giebichenstein in Halle, while also working on his own kinetic and telepresence artworks. In 2009-2010, he was again in Germany on a second Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship, teaching and collaborating in research at the University of Siegen in the Department of Business Informatics and New Media. A group of kinetic sculptures coalesced in this year and was shown in Siegen.

For more than a decade, Rodemer’s art-making has been split between collaborations in the performing arts and individual work on kinetic and interactive sculptures. Working with Professor Stephen Rush of the U-M School of Music, Rodemer has created three operas, for which he wrote the libretti and designed sets and costumes. Rush and Rodemer have also co-created pieces for dance as well as for various instruments in combination with video. vidGod, their first operatic collaboration, was performed in July of 2005 in Germany at the Landestheater Tübingen.

Presently, Rodemer is working on kinetic sculptures, with a play simmering on the back burner.