Paul Kneale’s scanner paintings and the smaller scale scanner transfers are full of kaleidoscopic intensity and energy. His interest in the transformation of the physical world into a digital language is exemplified through this current work. This piece explores the ways in which the digital facets of our existence can be manifested and reimagined in the form of the physical object.
The painting is in itself a simulacrum of this age, as it is created through the implementation (and misuse) of a cheap scanner-printer, in turn creating an ersatz experience, which can be read as a satirical capitalist production line. Kneale reflects on mass-consumption, production and consumerism in the twenty-first century, emphasised through the use of consumer grade scanners, which oftentimes end up being destroyed through the creation of his art.
The idea of streamlining modernism was already being implemented in the early 1900s with assembly line factories and the mechanical digestive image, where skill and knowledge is replaced with mass production, consumption and industrialisation. By using these scanners Kneale sheds light on to a world wherein “everything is branded, where the consumer is lured into compulsively buying new and improved versions of the same products”.