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SEO and Co.

Paul Kneale, SEO and Co.

in association with Evelyn Yard, London

Exhibition dates: October 13 – November 21, 2014

Opening: Monday 13 October 5-9pm // 91-93 Great Portland Street // London W1W 7NX


Paul Kneale is a London based artist, (born Canada,1986).  Kneale's work typically explores language, material, and the ‘networked mind’. He produces paintings, videos, texts, sculptures and performances. 

"SEO and Co." is a new work by Kneale, presented as the first part of a two-stage exhibition across two central London spaces, the second of which will be presented as a solo show at Evelyn Yard in January 2015. 

"SEO and Co." takes the artists’ s interest in the rerouting and transference of meaning by beginning with a Lunch Bytes organised talk the artist participated in hosted by the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. Boris Groys, Wendy Chun and Ben Vickers and Kneale discussed the influence of digital structures in the production of material artworks.  Video documentation of this talk was subsequently uploaded to the ICA’s YouTube account. YouTube's ability to recognise video content as a talk or lecture format, and automatically generate a transcript of the dialogue, is a feature intended by YouTube to improve Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). The automatic captioning of a complex and technical discussion resulted in a high degree of abstraction from the original spoken audio. This ‘computed’ text became the ‘stage-play’ for SEO and Co.

The artist has cited theorist Harold Bloom’s text 'The Anxiety of Influence' a reference to ‘poetic misprison’ - the act of willfully misinterpreting the previous output of other artists and poets as a strategy for the opening up of imaginative space. Kneale sources his own previous output as an influence to be wrongly interpreted and reassembled as new content. 

"SEO and Co." is filmed in the former Rotherhithe Library, London, that is both the artists’ studio, and his ‘muse’, a muse due for demolition by the council before the end of the year. The work uses techniques of transference, reinterpretation, and re-editing of previous material along with its location. Readers who perform the dialogue in the video are all artists, musicians and poets in their own right, who perform the 'misprisioned' content as themselves. A flattening of the dialogue occurs, caused by its removal from original context. Presented on multiple screens within, the fractured background and transitory environment of the library as backdrop anticipates and mimics the works future: how it might be spread across platforms and devices.

Kneale’s recent exhibitions include: Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada; Fondation Galeries Lafayette, Paris, France; And/Or, London, and Libraryplus, London.