A 24 hour art hackathon

School of The Art Institute of Chicago // April 6 8pm – April 7 11pm


hackSAIC is an art hackathon held as part of the SAIC Art + Technology program’s 50th anniversary celebration. Students from any discipline or technical background will band together to create artworks within a 24-hour deadline. Painter wondering how a neural network would render your last canvas in 3D? Programmer wanting to collaborate on ? hackSAIC is your space. We anticipate unusual and fascinating collaborations that hopefully last beyond the day-long sprint.


Saturday, April 6

7:45 PM
Arrival and check-in
8:00 PM
Introduction and orientation
8:25 PM
Brief idea presentations
8:45 PM
Dinner + Group Formation
9:00 PM

Sunday, April 7

8:00 PM
8:30 PM
8:50 PM
10:45 PM

Resources and Inspiration

We were going to put together a page of creative coding resources - frameworks, libraries, etc, but Terkel Gjervig has put together an excellent page that covers everything we would have thought to and more.

As for artistic inspiration, Adam Bach has provided us with a list of artworks that span a variety of tech-inflected mediums which we've compiled for you to peruse through here.

General FAQ

All college & university students are eligible to participate.
That's ok! You'll be surrounded with people who can, and remember - the goal of this event is to make artworks, not programs.
There's a first time for everything and that time is April 6, 8pm, 2019 ;-)
Teams can be up to 4 in size. You can come in a team, or we'll have 100% guaranteed fun events on the day of that will sort you into one. You can change team halfway, petition for one more person to be added to your team, we're very relaxed. This isn't a competition.
You can come and go as you please! We know 24-hours is a bit intense; your well-being comes first! Since this is not a competition, you can pace yourself however you'd like.
We are required to pre-register all attendees with the security personnel for our venue, and maintain a certain ratio of SAIC to non-SAIC students.
We'd love to answer them! Drop us an email at

Application FAQ

A hackathon is a live event where participants spent a certain amount of time (usually 24-48 hours) developing software or hardware projects, usually in teams, from scratch. “hack” here is used in its exploratory sense, not in its computer-security sense.
An art hackathon is a live event where participants band together to make art within a time limit (here 24 hours) - usually using or incorporating technology and/or new media.
It costs us money! hackSAIC is free for you. You just have to get here.
The event will be at the MacLean ballroom, 112 S Michigan Ave, Chicago IL 60603. The Adams/Wabash CTA station is just around the block, and there's plenty of bus services. Both of these are connected to the major Chicago transit hubs.
Valid student ID. Whatever you need to make art (within reason, contact us if you're unsure). A computer. Basic supplies for a sleepover: pillow, blanket, toiletries, necessary medications. If you have a camping pad and/or sleeping bag those will come in handy too.
As much as we'd love you to bring your keg of gaming fuel or a platter of Peking duck, our venue has restricted us from letting you cater the event. We will be providing snacks in between our three meals, and you're of course welcome to consume your own food individually. Alcohol is strictly forbidden.
We'll be providing dinner on both Saturday and Sunday. The ballroom is located in the Loop in Chicago and there's plenty of cheap places to get food during the event.
We'll have a small amount of air mattresses available to crash on, and you're more than welcome to catch some shut-eye in your sleeping bag on the carpeted ballroom floor.


We'd love to discuss sponsorship with your organization - this is the first year of this hackathon and any sort of help goes a long way. You can contact us at to discuss details!

How to get here

The ballroom is located on the ground floor of the MacLean Center at 112 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60603. It is located directly across from The Art Institute of Chicago and serviced by the CTA Adams/Wabash stop and several buses.

Contact us

Have an unanswered question, or just curious? Any and all inquiries can be directed to