Urban Chronicle 2, 2010-2011
4 maps showing the location of satellite dishes taken from Google Maps in the New York boroughs of
Manhattan,Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx
In 2010, Bertille Bak took up a residency in New York to develop her interest in one of the cultural communities in this megapolis. Close in her approach to that of an ethnologist / cartographer,
the artist, aided by the technology of Google Maps, picked out satellite disks, making the
hypothesis that the massive concentrations of these white disks might correspond to the localities
lived in by different cultural communities that were very often attached to the media of their
country of origin. Once she had made this huge inventory, Bertille Bak then transfered their localizations onto her own maps. At the crossing-point between fiction and documentary, the film
Urban Chronicles 3, taken from the stories of the people she met, paints a humorous
and poetic picture of the arrival of the immigrants from Eastern Europe on New York soil.
Frog competitions, the industrial manufacture of toilet paper, noisy parades on Fifth Avenue,
ex-votos or objects reflecting popular handicrafts are all folklore and burlesque elements that enliven
the question of immigration and living together in the outlying district of the imposing Big Apple.