Empire 24/7

"Empire 24/7" (1999-2004) is a live webcam project by Wolfgang Staehle, which gained notoriety during 9/11.

Empire 24/7

Wolfgang Staehle: Empire 24/7 (May 31, 2002)

In 1996, Staehle started a series of live online video streams. His first series was called Empire 24/7 where he documented the Empire State Building in New York City. He documented it by setting up a digital still camera at The Thing's office located in New York’s West Chelsea neighborhood. Every four seconds, the camera took a picture of the building and the images were sent and projected in a gallery at the ZKM. This project was a reference to Andy Warhol’s 1964 film Empire which was a silent, eight-hour-long black-and-white film in which the camera focused on the Empire State Building from dusk until dawn.

On September 6, 2001, Staehle opened an exhibition at Postmasters in New York that showed simultaneously landscapes from Berlin, Munich and Manhattan. Some days after, the attack to the Twin Towers happened, transforming his video-streams in some disturbing portrait of the beginning of the 21st century - at 15 frames per minute.


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