“I don’t feel like I make a clean distinction between technology and not-technology”; for Paul Kneale, the digital and the analog are not diametrically opposed elements, but integrated components that constitute life in the information age. Mutual exclusivity is a concept foreign to his practice, which aims to conflate presupposed technical and theoretical classifications. The abstract and the figurative, the manual and the mechanical, and the photographic and the painterly are amongst the binaries disrupted and disposed of in his dynamic oeuvre of new media art. In this aim, commercial grade office scanners have become a favored implement, allowing Kneale to capture effects of space as seen through a digitised eye.
In a new series of scanner paintings, Paul Kneale explores the expressive potential of Sfumato. Italian for blurred, sfumato also denotes the subtle blending of tones characteristic of oil painting. Each work in this series depicts resemblant effects; vapor trails of monochrome mists, and dissolving black shadows permeate grey backdrops. In the selected work, unexpected pops of color spot and streak across the composition like lens flares. These gestural qualities are manipulated into being by Kneale, who influences and interrupts the scanning process to generate unexpected effects. In this way, it is the quirks and glitches independent to each device that imparts these works with their irreplicable characters. Generating painterly impressions through digital senses, Paul Kneale confounds the classifications between modes of image-making.