Prof. Dr. Stefan Römer

Prof. h.c. Dr. phil. Stefan Römer is an art theoretician and artist who engages in the issues of critical epistemology in times of digitalization. He revised two fundamentally important dispositives in contemporary art: In his PhD-project »Strategies of Fake – a Critique of Original and Forgery« (Strategien des Fake – Kritik von Original und Fälschung, 2001) he critisized the original/forgery dichotomy as an ideology. And in his artistic practice and in many essays he challenged the modernist concept of the »White Cube« as a cell of humanist betterment (in the sense of Foucault‘s panopticon) which became a mediatized and self-optimized »Ambient«. In 2000 he received the Award for Art Criticism by the Working Committee of German Kunstvereine (AdKV).

His current research focuses on »interest«, the »interests« and the »interesting« which are fundamental epistemological terms of the philosophy of Enlightenment (Inter-esse, 2014). But because of its frequent use in contemporary art, interest has become an ideological legitimizing concept. Besides, the term sketches the current state of flux-thinking in the digitalized society.

With his essay »Deconceptual Coding and Software Art as Artistic Strategy of Social Dispute« (Dekonzeptuelles Coding und Software Art als künstlerische Strategie sozialer Auseinandersetzung, 2005) he proposed a fusion between the post-structural code in the artistic/cultural field with the software code in computer informatics.

With his essay film »Conceptual Paradise« – for which he conducted fifty-seven interviews with artists like Yoko Ono, Yvonne Rainer, Andrea Fraser, Ed Ruscha, Lawrence Weiner, Daniel Buren and many others – he proposed a deconceptual discourse of Conceptualism. In addition, he has made numerous other experimental and essayistic films as well as photographic works.

With his electronic music album »Stan Back: The Ups and Downs of a Hermeneutical Transvestite« (2011) and the EP »nervous politics« (2015) he suggested – in conjuction with a tumblr-site and a photo-text-book (2013) – a disappeared artistic persona as a critical, contemporary strategic comment.