Paul Kneale

Cash Back Afterlife, 2019

Inkjet on Canvas

198 × 147 cm


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Artwork
Description

Paul Kneale started experimenting with home scanners in 2014, when completing his degree at Slade: taking advantage of the built-in memory chip that these machines have in order to produce double-sided copies and prints, Kneale discovered an innovative way of painting. Starting always at the same point – with the scanner lid open and nothing on its bed – with each new series Kneale goes a bit deeper into the exploration of machine vision and the discovery of the painterly qualities inherent to it. The dichotomy between the domestic scanner’s cheap plastic, made-in-China body and the extremely advanced ‘viewing’ technology housed within it is what allows these mesmerising compositions to take shape. Because of their semi-disposable nature (often replacing the cartridge is more expensive than buying an altogether new device, so they are often disposed on at an incredibly high rate), domestic scanner-printers reach their breaking point fairly soon, but instead of simply stopping copying, they translate what they see in unexpected ways.

As even domestic devices are nowadays equipped to produce extremely high-resolution images, their power of vision is far superior to that of the human eye. What might look like an abstract composition, is in fact a faithful recording of the physical world above the scanning bed. With its fine tuned sensors, these devices are able to capture depth, the flickering of light, the passage of time, and small ink or dust particles, in a way that far exceeds unaided human capabilities. Like a painter with his paint brushes, Paul Kneale is able to employ different scanners and different techniques in order to explore the canonical concerns of painting: the nature of light, the passage of time, and awareness of space.

About
the artist

Paul Kneale (b. 1986, Canada) received his MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art (London) in 2011 and has been working closely with Artuner since early 2015. Works by Kneale have been included in the exhibition Peindre la Nuit at Centre Pompidou Metz (October 2018), 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°. In Autumn 2019 he unveiled Flat Earth Visa, a site-specific installation for the hillscape surrounding the Palazzo Re Rebaudengo in Guarene (Piedmont, Italy).  Most recently with Artuner his works were exhibited as part of the online exhibition STUDIOSCAPES: 2021 and in 2022 he created a series of NFTs in collaboration with LiveArtX. 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 ways in which digital facets of our existence can be manifested and reimagined in the flesh of the physical object. The artist manipulates 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. This 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 information technology. Describing today’s inherent revulsion of 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, 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 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

October 12th, 2019 until
October 30th, 2019
Curated by ARTUNER