In 1969, Sonia Sheridan and her students at the Art Institue of Chicago (Chicago, IL, U.S.) discovered a Xerox photocopier in the administrative wing of the building, which they used to produce pamphlets and other counterinformation documents. This unlimited use of the machine forced management to restrict its access. To resolve this problem, Sheridan acquired a defective model of a Thermo-Fax
, which she had repaired at 3M (this would become her first official contact with the company). In addition to using the machine for copies, Sheridan and her students also explored its artistic potential through a series of simple actions (positionning her hand or small objects on the printing film) (a)
. Later, she used an iron to transfer images produced on the Thermo-Fax to a variety of surfaces (she called the process “thermage”) (c)
. In 1970, the Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (Carbondale, IL, U.S.) suggested she hold an exhibition of printmaking techniques. In collaboration with her students, she instead presented a project entitled Mail-In Mail-Out
, where the Thermo-Fax established an uninterrupted communication link between the Art Institute of Chicago and the city of Carbondale (e)
. Participants in both locations sent photocopied messages to their counterparts that were exposed simultaneously at the two sites.
. Electrostatic Thermal