Empire is an artwork consisting of a live image collage created by Marco Brianza inspired by the film Empire by Andy Warhol that in 1964 pictured with a static camera the Empire State Building in a 8 hours movie.

The tower, center of this work which started in mid 2010, is the TV tower of Mediaset.
Every 15 minutes a new collage is created over the live picture of the tower adding actual images of some media diffused by the Mediaset-Fininvest group: TV, magazines, newspapers, books and websites.

The software creted by the artist produces autonomously the digital collages every 15 minutes. Each image has a value of 9,99€, so value of the artwork is continously increasing over time. This site shows the low resolution copy free of charge. If you like the project you can buying a printed postcard in the Archive




Links on art magazines

MAKING OF (initial version of 2010)

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 front page of the newspaper "Il Giornale", owned by the Berlusconi family since 1979, comes from the newspaper aggregator Funize. It is grabbed by a script that uses curl.

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 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 images and for each day there are 96 of them. The 96 images can be viewed all together in the "Archive" section.

Empire by Andy Warhol

Empire by Andy Warhol

Empire by Marco Brianza

Empire by Marco Brianza

The Camera pointing the tower

The Camera pointing the tower

Emperor software

Emperor software