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.