INFRA by Chris Shen (2013)

625 discarded remote controls, repurposed to broadcast live television using the infrared LEDs inside each device. Creating an infrared display invisible to the naked eye. When viewed through infrared goggles, the light becomes visible and the low resolution TV broadcast can be seen.

Full Description

In 1955, Eugene Polley (1915 - 2012) designed the first ever wireless remote control for the Zenith Radio Corporation. At the press of a button, the remote would magically flash an invisible light from across the room and turn your TV set on, off, or change channels, all without you budging from the couch. It was an invention that changed the nature of television.

Every TV remote has a small infrared LED at the front. When viewed through infrared goggles a small light that cannot be seen normally becomes visible. This invisible light is used to create a display capable of showing recognisable images in the form of live television, the infrared light then brings light to the room, but only in the infrared spectrum.

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Work metadata

  • Year Created: 2013
  • Submitted to ArtBase: Wednesday Jan 30th, 2013
  • Original Url:
  • Work Credits:
    • Chris Shen, Creator
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Artist Statement

“Each of the 625 remote controls is second-hand, without the corresponding TV set - the remotes were discarded, or deemed useless by their previous owner. I will reverse the roles of these devices that are intended to control our TVs, to become the TV itself.”

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