This group of smaller works from Paul Kneale’s scanner transfers series questions the digital not only as an extension for the visual but as its replacement. Kneale frequently refers to these scanner-created artworks as “time-sandwiches”; due to his placing of one short exposure frame over a longer one. Time and space work in a symbiotic relationship with one another to create these snapshots.
The use of multiple scanners in the stead of traditional methods of painting to create non-figurative works underlines Kneale’s search for and understanding of the mechanised, automated processes of the twenty-first century.
This series, made up of nine scan transfers titled (from left to right): Promoter, Office Park, Plot the Lost, Who to Follow, Rekt Thread Ekphrasis, Everybody’s Alternative, Invited You to Like, Real Followers, History States.
Through the use of cheap consumer scanners Kneale creates these works by manipulating the ambient light within his studio to capture the ephemeral. In the essay “Image Ageless”, Kneale argues that the digital painting process using scanners is a new approach to the “age old concerns of surface and space and time in painting”. The scanners are in themselves reminiscent of painting because of the way the digital sensors work, capturing light and time as a code and processing it into an image.
Paul Kneale’s new transfer scans series are created following a process similar to that of his emblematic scanner paintings. In the transfer scans, the artist prints the resulting image on the non-absorbent side of an acetate sheet. Before the ink is allowed to set, he transfers the composition on paper with the aid of a solvent, occasionally adding more printed layers. This laborious technique recalls that of Robert Rauschenberg’s transfer drawings, where the artist would reclaim scraps of printed media to deftly comment on the excesses of contemporary visual culture.