All Day and All Night

2003-2004 ICE Project Grant
Kit Hughes

BFA Candidate
Lamar Dodd School of Art

An interactive installation that explores the tenets of capitalism, marketing, technology, art on the primary framework of digital media.

Americans are bombarded with hundreds of commercials each day. This leads Kit Hughes, a B.F.A. candidate in the Lamar Dodd School of Art to wonder, “what if I could buy everything I see on TV?” Hughes’ project answers this question by acquiring a plethora of products advertised within a twenty-four hour period. This warped shopping spree involves viewers in a spectacle of production and consumption. Participants are invited to scan the actual products on a barcode reader, triggering a multimedia barrage that includes pre-recorded commercial footage, edited views of specific products and a projection of the related advertisement. Audio recordings of prank phone calls with 1-800 Customer Service Representatives play as viewers are treated to extreme close-ups of the commercial actors euphoric expressions.

But that’s not all. Visitors then receive a printed ticket, good for one round of paintball ammunition in the firing range section of the exhibition. The experience culminates in firing away at a large blank canvas.

All Day and All Night is supported in part by a project grant from ICE and has been installed at the Athens Institute of Contemporary Art (ATHICA), a non-profit organization dedicated to exhibiting challenging, provocative, and contemporary art in Athens, Georgia. Hughes proposed All Day and All Night to the ATHICA board last summer during their open call for submissions. Due to its scale and ambitious nature, they decided to give the installation a solo run, the first of its kind in the gallery’s short history of exhibiting challenging contemporary art (ATHICA debuted in March 2002).

Hughes has shown his conceptual projects at venues throughout the southeast region since 1998, including the Fugitive Art Center in Nashville and the Murfreesboro Art Center, also in Tennessee. Before returning to art school in 2002, Hughes worked for large corporations creating packaging designs, an experience that obviously informs this piece. Hughes is also a Net artist who has received a grant from the UGA Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) for his Tagging project, an online tool for covering downtown Athens in virtual graffiti, which will debut in the spring of 2004.