Paul Kneale

Salad Days, 2015

Digital Print on Linen

200 × 140 cm


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Artwork
Description

Paul Kneale’s interest in the divide between digital and physical reality, and the coexistence of advanced technology and cheap material within the same object, is clearly manifested in paintings from the ‘Post-post-post-production’ series. These works, referred to as ‘scanner-paintings’, bridge the gap between several realms.

They are inherently amphibious. The ‘high-tech garbage’, as Paul Kneale calls the consumer grade scanner-printers, which he uses like brushes to ‘paint’ the works, consist of very advanced sensors encased in a flimsy made-in-China body. Indeed, while the former are able to capture elements which are usually beyond traditional methods of figuration – such as the atmosphere and light conditions – the latter is designed to deteriorate rapidly.

Such discrepancy becomes a breeding ground for productive visual enquiry. The errors, damages and tantrums of the scanners are integrated into the works, conferring them different personalities.

Although the scanner paintings are not figurative, in the sense that they don’t depict objects, they are not abstract either. In fact, they record very physical elements, which often escape our visual field – as the scanner actually registers more pixels per inch than our eyes can perceive.

Bright palette examples such as ‘Salad Days’, also reminiscent of Colour Field painting, are the result of several long exposure layerings.

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

November 11th, 2015 until
January 25th, 2016
Curated by Eugenio Re Rebaudengo