Paul Kneale

Accept & Continue, 2017

Scan transfer on photo paper

29.7 × 21 cm


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Artwork
Description

Paul Kneale’s practice is intent on exposing the mechanisms behind socio-cultural processes often taken for granted in the contemporary world – such as the phenomenon of the digital as a system of vision. Best known for his scanner paintings, Kneale’s transfer scans can be regarded as a spin-off of that series. The artist’s technique involves the use of multiple photocopiers employed as a set of paintbrushes. By scanning the atmosphere of his studio with an open lid and nothing on the copy bed, while often feeding worn-out, wrinkled transparencies through the printer function and layering up strata after strata of erratic formations, Paul Kneale achieves luminous and mercurial compositions.

In his transfer scans, Kneale prints the scan on the wrong (non-porous) side of an acetate sheet, so that the ink doesn’t set properly. With the aid of an acetone solution, he then transfers the compositions on paper, occasionally with additional printed layers. This laborious technique recalls that of Robert Rauschenberg’s transfer drawings, where the artist would reclaim scraps of printed media to deftly comment on the excesses of contemporary visual culture.

Although the aesthetics of ‘Accept & Continue’ are obviously very similar to those of Paul Kneale’s scanner paintings series, the different scale of this artwork alters the viewer’s bodily encounter with it. Rendered in the popular A4 format, the work is more tightly connected to the means of its creation – namely, the scanner – while also inciting associations with familiar objects, such as published magazines, notepads, and other printed media.

About
the artist

Born in 1986 in Canada, Paul Kneale received his MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art (London) in 2011 and has been working closely with ARTUNER since early 2015. Work by Kneale have been included in the exhibition Peindre la Nuit at Centre Pompidou Metz (October 2018), Contemporary Photography Forum exhibition of the Boca Raton Museum (Florida, USA), the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, the Rubell Family Collection and at the prestigious Thetis Gardens in the Arsenale Novissimo (Venice), in a group exhibition on view during La Biennale di Venezia 57°. He lives and works in Toronto.

Paul Kneale is interested in how the world is constantly translated into a digital language which simplifies, trivialises and depersonalises content and the people it addresses. The artist explores the way in which digital facets of our existence can be manifested and reimagined in the flesh of the physical object. The artist has been manipulating cheap scanners to generate a unique way of painting. Rather than capturing an image, the scanner creates an impression of the ambient light within the artist’s studio, bearing the abstract visual trace of the atmosphere surrounding the machine. The process is integral to his new works: the scanner paintings are built up from unique impressions and display multiple layers and striations often between transparent sheets and the colours resulting from varying light conditions in the artist’s studio.

The contrast between machines and their serial products results in what Paul Kneale defines as the “new abject”. In response to Julia Kristeva’s 1980 text ‘Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection’, the artist identifies a “new abject” for the information technology. Describing today’s inherent revulsion for brand new materials, he pinpoints a disorientation in the consciousness of time and location, caused by our immaterial inhabitation of new technologies. This sentiment is embodied in works which often address, in original and innovative ways and media, the simultaneity and layering occurring in our ever-linked virtual existences. Kneale, in an interview with i-D, defines the Internet as ‘a whole way of being in the world’. His practice aims at investigating the role of art in this new enigmatic dimension. Paul Kneale is an artist that explores the possible physical manifestations of the digital. His oeuvre reflects on the implications of algorithms and information flux. While these may seem very abstract entities, they constitute and shape our domestic daily environment. To follow Paul Kneale and receive exclusive updates, click here.


Kneale is interested in how the world is constantly translated into a digital language which simplifies, trivialises and depersonalises content and the people it addresses. The artist explores the way in which digital facets of our existence can be manifested and reimagined in the flesh of the physical object.


Paul Kneale
on Artuner