The tower, center of this work which started in mid 2010, is the TV tower of Mediaset.
Each new image of Empire, the "Flash of Empire", is automatically created every 15 minutes ("In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes") by means of a custom software, Emperor, coded by the author in Visual Basic .NET. This software that runs 24/7 on a small notebook also controls other applications for collecting specific media of the collage.
The live image of the tower is captured by a digital camera, a Canon S5IS, at full optical zoom that provides a 8 Mega pixel image. The camera is controlled by PSRemote software using a USB cable.
Live TV is captured by broadcast aerial signal (most probably coming from the tower) using a USB digital TV tuner (Hauppage Nova TV) and VLC to choose the channel and take the snapshot. The 3 channels selected for the collage are the Mediaset historical channels: Canale Cinque, Italia Uno and Rete Quattro.
The Tgcom website, the web extension of the main newscast of the TV channel Canale Cinque, is grabbed with a Internet Explorer API.
Weekly and monthly magazines and books are gathered manually from the different publishers sites belonging to the holding and synched to the computer using Dropbox.Date and time are also stamped on the image to tag it at the specific moment.
The collage of the flash 10X15 cm at 500 dpi is created using .NET graphic APIs.
A low resolution image 600x400 pixels and the corresponding thumbnail of 60x40 pixels are uploaded to www.theitalianempire.com using CURL.
In Empire website homepage you can find the latest image created. There is an archive of the previous "Flashes of the Empire" and for each day there are 96 of them. The 96 images can be viewed all together in the "Archive" section.
To support the project you can buy a print of a "Flash of Empire" (delivered as postcard of 10x15 cm) or of a full day of 96 flashes "Day of Empire" (fine art print of 160x90 cm). Each image, both the postcard and the poster, is unique and printed only once.
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