Paul Kneale

Aphasia Tags, 2015

Digital Print on Linen

198.1 × 139.7 cm


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Artwork
Description

Paul Kneale, for whom a computer screen and a canvas share the same properties, “everything that happens on your computer screen is already a painting, if not a fancy one”, creates his “Post-post-post-production” paintings with scanners.

To comprehend the process, one must understand how a scanner works: scanners produce light through an LED strip, which runs through below the scanner’s glass plate. The light is reflected by what is above the bed. A sensor, which moves along with the LED light, captures the above. To Kneale, this is reminiscent of a brush’s movement.

Kneale’s process starts by allowing the scanners to capture their environment. The scanner’s lid is open to let the light (daylight, artificial light, dimmed light) and materials on the scanner’s glass plate express themselves. Kneale varies the exposure time, it can range from seconds to dozens of minutes, leading to different outcomes. The artwork is then stored as a digital file, which Kneale eventually prints on canvas.

The process is very important, as it defines the painting. Paul Kneale does not make further alterations by hand / paint. As a result of these factors Kneale exposes the scanners to, he creates images with unique impressions of colour, depth and distortion. By running low-grade transparencies through the printer, simultaneously to the scanning process, Kneale obtains the layering in his images. The cheap scanners have their own visual language: sometimes their interpretation or reading of colour is incorrect. In “Aphasia Tags” for example, transparencies placed on the glass came out as dark on the digital file created by the scanner. Furthermore, you find dots of colour here and there on the canvas.

Kneale works with the scanner’s disposition. The scanners follow his decisions, albeit him not knowing what exactly the outcome will look like, as his method involves chance or coincidence, which he plays with. Kneale is the mind, the scanner acts as a companion that unconsciously processes. To the artist, “productive misuse is a way to understand things”.

Kneale’s interventions with technology create physical artworks, through an intangible digital process. “This material (canvas), aside from its historical use in painting, allows an amazing depth of colour and detail from the inks used”. The process creates trompe-l’oeil-like visual effects, such as in the top part of Aphasia tags, where the tape seems to come out of the canvas.

Aphasia tags is a prime example of how Kneale’s non-objective paintings, with their conceptually innovative approach, deepen the possibilities and opportunities this medium offers.

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

September 24th, 2015 until
November 13th, 2015
Curated by ARTUNER