Paul Kneale

The Part That You Call You, 2019

Inkjet on Canvas

198 × 147 cm


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Artwork
Description

An exploration of machine vision has been at the heart of Paul Kneale’s practice since the very beginning of his scanner painting series. Kneale learnt how to take advantage of the memory chip in domestic scanner-printers intended for producing both-sided copies, in order to experiment with the machine’s surprising vision. The artist often equates utilising scanners to the way a traditional painter employs different paint brushes: through different light exposures, time, and layering, the compositions change and reflect the environmental characteristics in which they were created. Adding a new step to his original technique, Paul Kneale introduces ghostly organic shapes which differentiate his most recent works from the earliest ones of his production.

Starting always at the same point – with the lid open and nothing on the scanner bed – Kneale prints the result on a plastic sheet; he repeats the process over and over until there are several layers to the image. To obtain more organic shapes than the distinctive ‘digital looking’ ones yielded by the scanner up until that point, the artist introduces a by-product of his ‘scan-transfer’ series – scansa transferred from plastic sheets to photo paper by means of an acetone bath. The discarded plastic transparencies, after the chemical bath, still bear the faint, at times too faint for the human eye to discern, traces of melted away ink stains. These, when placed back onto the scanner, and scanned at incredibly high resolutions in the dark, reveal minute and organic traces of the image.

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