Paul Kneale

No one who’s dropped acid gives a shit about VR, 2019

Inkjet on Canvas

190 × 147 cm


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Artwork
Description

For centuries, artists have used various devices in order to create paintings: the paintbrush itself, the grid, geometric perspective, and so forth. Machine vision, and specifically that of the common scanner, can be employed as a means towards the same goal, Paul Kneale argues. Indeed, his boundary-breaking paintings are realised by way of scanning the light and atmosphere of the artist’s studio, at different speeds and different times, while leave the machine’s lid open, and the scanning bed exposed. The resulting non-figurative compositions hark back to the same thematic concerns as more traditional painting: an exploration of light and time.

The series of paintings this particular work belongs to complements the scanning technique with dissolving the resulting image in an acid bath, transferring it to another surface, before finally scanning it again.

In Paul Kneale’s own words: “The scan transfers are a battle between machine vision and acid baths, with the results layered on top of each other. It uses the digital imaging process like a brush, but at the same time each layer is an exposure and a moment, that gets stacked and condensed like a quantum time sandwich.”

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