The National Alumni Association of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago have co-sponsored FAXART, the first exhibition in Chicago of artworks all transmitted by fax machine. For this exhibition, almost eleven thousand alumni of the School of the Art Institute and the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Art and Design were invited to use the fax machine to create, transform, and transmit two-dimensional images. Works arrived in the gallery via fax from across the country and from around the world. This groundbreaking show provokes excitement in the art community and captures the imagination of the public and media alike.
A total of 284 artists from both schools participated. In response to a National Public Radio interview, numerous non-alumni artists also faxed work to the gallery. True to the spirit of the show these works were exhibited on the doors and columns in the gallery. The span of work crossed generations of alumni, some of whom used the fax as a means to simply transmit their art, while others created art commenting on the medium. The diversity of work reflects the diversity of programs offered at both schools. The work ranges from light-hearted cartoons to works of a more serious nature, including computer-generated images, drawings, books, photography, and architectural and sculptural renderings.
The positive media coverage was extensive, ranging from the aforementioned NPR interview, spots on Voice of America, coverage of opening night by NBC Nightly News, as well as local TV coverage. The story was picked up by AP Wire Service, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun Times, and Crain's Chicago Business, along with numerous other print media.