High on an End Note, 2017
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Paul Kneale has focused his ‘Post-post-post-production Series’ on investigating the boundaries between the digital and the physical, as well as our shifting perceptions of art, technology and medium conventions. In order to do so, Kneale has exploited the latent creative potentialities of an ordinary piece of high technology, encased in a flimsy and cheaply produced plastic body: the scanner.
By layering up multiple strata of fast, low-resolution scans and slow, high-definition ones, conducted with open lids and empty copy beds, and through running over-worked crumpled up transparencies, the artist creates fascinating and complex compositions. Indeed, pushing the machinery to the point of breakage has enabled Kneale to induce dramatic effects, such as the acid tones of unbalanced light and colour sensors, or the melting shadows of overheated plastic components.
He describes each machine as having its own whimsical and idiosyncratic personality. By extensively probing the capabilities of his medium of choice, Kneale has come to regard his multiple scanners as a set of paintbrushes, allowing him to achieve diverse effects. Although abstract in appearance, Paul Kneale’s scanner-paintings portray very physical elements, the ones that often escape our attention as they are beyond the reach of the human eye: fluctuations in light, speckles of dust, imperceptible fingerprints. Perhaps this is why we can so easily recognise in them uncanny shapes and familiar spectres.