Paul Kneale

All the things that are happening vs all the things there are to think about, 2019

Inkjet on Canvas

190 × 147 cm


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Artwork
Description

Paul Kneale uses cheap, mass-market digital scanners as the medium for his ‘scanner paintings,’ which realise the intangible and the auratic elements of the artist’s studio. The scanner captures the light of a specific moment in time — as well as miniscule changes in environment — which Kneale then layers and ultimately prints on canvas.  

The temporal and luminous themes that drive the works hearken to a more traditional mode of artistic creation: painting. The scanner is not given wholly free rein over the final product; conscious of the volatility of the medium, Kneale works thoughtfully to realise the environs in each painting.

In ‘All the things that are happening…’ (2019), the abstraction is notably marked by scanner glitches. Large, sharp bursts span the surface of the work, indicative of a medium and environment afflicted by entropic bursts. But the artist’s influence is not lost upon the piece — a subtly purposeful, tenebrous background underscores the foreground sharp scratches and burns.

By manipulating and interpreting an environment through the medium of the scanner, Kneale seeks to address the influence of digital technology on our relationship to our surroundings. In turn, Kneale captures the digital gaze as well as the artist’s perspective; his cheap scanners warp and distort our world to create a parallel reality mediated by digital technology.

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

Part of the
exhibition

May 22nd, 2019 until
August 31st, 2019
Curated by ARTUNER