Paul Kneale is compelled by the pervasive implications of the digital age, especially as it influences perception. Art’s sublimation into the digital sphere has dissolved the categorical distinctions between mediums, as uniform, digital image files are the prevailing mode in which it is encountered. In his practice, Kneale probes, and blurs, these boundaries between mediums, creating paintings expressive of digital perspectives. Using, and misusing, cheap, commercial grade scanners, he captures impressions of atmosphere and space. These devices are capable of detecting color, form, and movement that is imperceptible to the human eye, and Kneale’s experimental manipulations push the extent of their sensory capabilities.
Possessing an attuned awareness of the mechanics of scanners, Kneale understands how to elicit the most painterly of effects. Vibrant and gestural, Active Now is exemplary of Kneale’s interest in conflating the boundaries of expressive mediums. Relating the movements of scanners to the strokes of a paintbrush, Kneale considers ontological similarities between digital imaging and painting. In the selected work, melding swathes of pale blue and magenta lap against geometric layers of orange and lime green horizontal lines, all coated by palpable splotches of magenta. By compiling these individual exposures into a multi-layered painting, Kneale presents a composite representation of space as seen by the digital.