Paul Kneale

Space Junk (Can I), 2018

galvanised metal, glass encased neon components

38 x 70 x 38 cm


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Artwork
Description

The increasing ubiquity of digital technology is evidenced by the debris currently floating in earth’s orbit,  remnants of rocket stages and satellites adrift in space. Such items litter an expanse where humans have yet to dwell, where the only inhabitants are the material refuse of the information age. In a new series of sculptures installed in Brussels, Belgium, Paul Kneale takes inspiration from this stray matter, embodying virtual connections through the physical remnants of cyberspace.  

The selected work is part of Kneale’s ongoing sculpture series Event Horizon – Space Junk, titled to reference the point at which a black hole consumes light and matter. The sculpture is composed of a trash can, burnt, rusted, bent and itself disposed. The metallic base has been outfitted with a custom-made neon halo, which hovers above the vessel’s opening as an incandescent glow. This luminous fixture marks the work’s own event horizon; the threshold from which objects would be discarded into its capacity. By placing this work in dialogue with cell towers and signal transmitters, Paul Kneale calls attention to the tangible expressions, and physical implications, of human engagement with the digital.

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.

His latest works are currently on show in the Contemporary Photography Forum exhibition of the Boca Raton Museum. In the past year, his works have been featured in 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.

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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 3rd, 2018 until
May 31st, 2018
Curated by ARTUNER