Shane Cooper

Remote Control


Werk - Remote Control
Artist / Artist group
Shane Cooper
Remote Control
installation, computer-based
Material / Technique
computer (Silicon Graphics O2, operating system: IRIX, custom software), keyboard, mouse, audio effects unit, computer screen, TV screen, custom-made remote control system, TV cabinet, coffee table, sofa, floor lamp, pedestal
Dimensions / Duration
Installation dimensions variable
ZKM | Center for Art and Media

A photorealistic realtime virtual anchorman presents live, real news. The anchorman retrieves information from internet news sources, and can present it in one of two ways: «truth reversed» or «truth confirmed». The visitor is allowed to select which version of truth they prefer by using a television remote control device containing two buttons, labeled «TRUTH1» and «TRUTH2».

A regular television occupies a furnished white room. On the television is what appears to be a normal news broadcast in progress. The news broadcast is in fact entirely computer generated. All graphics, the character, the voice, and all images are all generated in real-time. The news text itself is continually accessed from internet news sources. The news broadcast is a live, continuously self updating television program.

A remote control unit near the sofa has only two buttons: TRUTH1 and TRUTH2. These allow the user to choose between just two channels. On one channel, the anchorman reverses the truth of the news, and on the other channel supports it. The effect is two news channels reporting the same information, but opposite in truth relative to each other. (An underlying linguistic manipulation program makes this possible.)

Depending on whether the underlying remote news sources are accurate, one of the channels will be true and the other will be false. Which channel is true and which is false, however, is determined entirely by the truth of the remote news sources. Since one channel is the meaning of every sentence reversed and the other is the meaning of every sentence supported, one channel is guaranteed to be true whether or not the news itself is.

About the artist/s