Artist uses discarded remote controls to make a new infrared display

Infra old remote controls display

Though remote controls were billed as “lazy bones” when they first appeared, these small infrared devices have changed the way we communicate with our electronic devices. Today, more and more electronic appliances come with remote controls and they are often the most replaced component too, as most of them are either easily lost or are broken.

A London-based artist, Chris Shen, believed that old and outdated remote controls can easily be reused to create something remarkable and he went on to collect a total of 625 old remote controls from trash heaps and landfills. Shen then reversed the roles of these devices that control the TV, to become a TV themselves.

Infrared remote controls come with a small infrared LED that sends bursts of light to the receiver in the TV or any other electronic device. He used this property to create Infra, a 625-pixel monochromatic screen, with each remote working as a pixel. Shen controls their firing using a self-written code. Though to a naked eye, the installation will look just like a collection of old remote controls, you can see the deeper picture with a pair of special glasses that make infrared light visible.

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