Paul Kneale’s scanner paintings directly speak to a culture that is deeply enmeshed in the digital sphere. Questions of time flow and the physicality of the digital intertwine and produce an original visual vocabulary able to describe such hybrid realities.
According to the artist, each of the cheap consumer grade scanner-printers he uses to produce his artworks has its own personality. This helps to determine the uniqueness and strong character of each piece, along with the fact that they are the result of a particular ‘time sandwich’ – as the artist describes the layering of a fast, low resolution scan over one that is slow and of a higher resolution one. Different exposure times, like what happens in photography, generate different effects; when these are combined the ensuing image is more complicated, ‘thicker’.
The patterns, shapes and colours produced by the machines in their recordings of the atmosphere above the scanner’s open bed are capricious and staggering. Kneale describes his process as ‘productive misuse’: for him it is also a way of better understanding these actually high-tech objects, which have become so mundane today that despite being very technologically advanced, are cheaply mass-produced and not built to last.
‘Days that End in Y’ offers an Impressionist-like set of hues: what seems a softly pixelated image is actually the result of many consecutive stratifications. The layers, although they resemble a pattern, are in fact a totally distinct spectrum of pixels. The rainbow tonalities suffuse the canvas like an opalescent nebula. The ‘first’ layer of the image gives way to a second one and so on, inviting the viewer to dig deeper in its density and immerse oneself, lose oneself even, in the multiple strata.