NIAGA DNA is a collective jumping choreography for la place du village, a 6,5 day marathon created
for/with/in the city. With a tailor made application, through which the ones that pass by become the
jumpers, the performer, the viewer, the scenography. AND AGAIN.
For this creation, K&A de-sponge the layers of the city to extract its DNA: pallets of gestures, everyday life rhythms, street habits, history barks, prophecies and simple stories. They challenge their own imagination and memory by writing 47 portraits that mix the people that pass by la place du village and their stories with historical figures, characters out of the literary world and with the plaza’s whispers.
The 47 portraits form one portrait: the DNA of the city. K&A translate the written words into binary code. Binary code is the main language of all electronic devices: a simple, abstract language combining chains of 0’s and 1’s.K is 0100 1011 A is 0100 0001. The portraits are formed by 138 888 letters = 1 111 111 zero’s and one’s.
For NIAGA DNA, the binary code becomes a language for the body:
0 is a jump with the right foot, 1 is a jump with the left foot. The feet become the drumsticks that
hit the skin of the plaza. Jumping from right to left and from left to right, you can jump letters, words,
sentences: whole worlds.
01001110 01001001 01000001
01000111 01000001 00100000
01000100 01001110 01000001
is NIAGA DNA
Through the geolocalization of the tailor-made application, the architecture of the square is immersed
into a giant jumping board game.
During a marathon of 6,5 days, K&A will be there jumping and inviting the ones that pass by the plaza
to become the performer, the viewer, the scenography, the past, the present and the future. On
the lines, the draws and the forms of the square K&A build jumping tempos and levels. Regarding to
where you stand on the plaza, the application provides you through geolocalization a level (how
many jumps) and a tempo connected to your specific coordinates. A polyrhythmic choreography is
created on the plaza leaded by the 3 jumping tempos: the tempo of the bird (177 bpm), the tempo
of the human (111 bpm) and the tempo of the whale (71 bpm).
By jumping the binary code,
a shoot/shot of rhythms and words enters the muscles, engraving the DNA into the body,
a shoot/shot of rhythms and letters enters the brain, to read a part of the DNA, the 47 portraits of
the city. The more you jump the more you can read.
OBJECTIVE: 1.111.111 jumps to encode in our bodies the DNA of the city
DURATION: 6,5 days
Cast & Credits
Concept, text & performance: K&A (Karla Isidorou & Alexandra Bellon
Mediators PQ2019: Katerina Panagiotopoulou & Freek van Zonsbeek
Technical engineer & IT development: Antoine Hordez
Graphics: Mathilde Wingering
© Photography: K&A
© PQ2019 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design & Space, NIAGA DNA by K&A, photo: Jan Hromadko
Within the core of NIAGA DNA lies AND AGAIN, an ongoing pattern to let the public jump in and out
of the giant board game, letting them move between different roles: the viewer/ the performer/ the
scenography. The application functions as a living membrane around the cell of NIAGA DNA. The 47 portraits become visible through the application that orchestrates the performance: letting the jumpers -as if particlesenter and exit through specific pathways.
Choosing to use the application the viewer becomes a participant: the jumper (the performer & the
scenography). The roles of the jumper and the viewer are interlinked. It is only because of the choice
of the viewer to participate that another person can become the viewer. A continuous choice of
jumping in and out is left open for the ones that pass by the Plaza.
Pattern of the plaza
The application is built for and on the architecture of the plaza. In each city K&A elevate the draws,
patterns and forms of the ground into the territories of the jumpers to connect them with the levels of each jumping tempo.
Download NIAGA DNA
The jumper will use his smartphone to download and install the app from the Google Play Store or from Apple App Store. An internet connection is not mandatory after downloading the app
The jumper has to turn on the GPS on his smartphone. It will display a static map of the square with instructions.
Jump between areas
When the jumper enters an area, the smartphone will display the button: “START TO JUMP !”.
Becoming the performer
& the scenography
After pressing “Start” the app will show the binary code connected to a specific part of the 47 portraits. The performer will jump the sceno – graphy. The app will make the jumper perform in the specific tempos, by vibrating (buzz) for each jump
The 47 portraits
After jumping the spectator can click on “OK, I jumped !”. The application will display the words of the jumped binary code sequence linked to the specific location.
The jumper can move and go to step 4 again by pressing the button “AND AGAIN”. The more you jump, the more you can read 😉
Each city where NIAGA DNA is performed will be scanned and dreamed by K&A. During a one week residency (October 2018), K&A dove into Prague, to collect and write 47 portraits. The start/ heart of each portrait lie in ‘La place du village’. Talking with the ones that live, walk, work and jump in and around the Industrial Plaza, K&A grasp the everyday life. Reading books written by Czech writers like Franz Kafka, Alexandra Berkova, Milan Kundera, Bohimil Hraba, Miroslav Cervenka, K&A collect the memories of fictions. Emerging into the complex history of Prague, K&A extract the multiplicity of contradictions and switches that pre-existed to use their transformative power.
All these elements mix with the eye and the writing tongue of the outsider, the one of K&A, to build 47 portraits. This collection of portraits exposes the DNA of the city.
A taste of the 47 of Prague: Map guy, In(somnia) grand ma’, Pink Rememberability, Baby bebe bam,
E133 Addict, Elastic Elevator Fixer, Strike: the bold one.
An open question-form to dissect the 47
Each one of the portraits answers to a questionnaire:
1. What is your morning ritual?
2. Do you want to take a last drink/dream on the street?
3. What do you do when you are sad?
4. What makes you jump?
5. What is your blue blood?
6. Can you write me your last letter?
7. Do you like pickles?
8. What is your abecedaire?
The 8 open questions are the dissection tools to extract/construct the 47 portraits that together form
one DNA: The city.
Gaming with the format that is used in personality tests as well as official forms, K&A let the questions
become arrows to pierce through different temporalities and perspectives. The questions distil the
essence and become the key that opens the door of the text. Each question can be perceived differently, each portrait answers precise and unique.
Curators about NIAGA DNA
Our DNA is a perpetual discovery-rediscovery of unfathomable complexity. What about a city’s DNA?How to scan the city’s DNA? Where to go? Who to ask?
Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we forget to zoom in/ zoom out.
The DNA -while zooming inside our cells- keeps us aware of the contradicting strength between
determinism and potential. NIAGA DNA – while zooming outside our body- keeps us aware of the
strength of the city’s DNA.
Our project started with a fascination for the superposition of two territories: urban and anatomic. In
these two zones we choose two vital organs: la place du village/the square of the city and the jumping
feet of the citizens that cross these stones AGAIN AND…
Why the jumping feet?
Intuition, playfulness and opportunity.
The jump: a shoot/shot of rhythms and words
The complexity imposed on the body through the muscles, challenges the mind again and again to reach the trembling levels of its connotations.
The jump is a gesture that crosses generation, geography and generalizations
A gesture of pure joy as well as a gesture of suicide.
When do we jump?
What do we jump?
Why do we jump?
Who do we jump?
Where do we jump?
Why “la place du village”?
We chose la place du village for its central communication nodes.
We chose the feet for their porous gravity connection with the floor.
Can we involve the physical body, and particularly the feet, in a codex of communication? This is
how we started to transform the text of NIAGA DNA into a code that could be jumped easily from
right to left. Thanks to the hybridization of the drumming notation system and the Bolean binary code, 0&1 encode the letters to be jumped and presence & absence become the key of the collective
choreography. This jumping interactive polyrhythmic heart, beats the skin of the plaza, to awake the
collective memory. With its numeric infrastructures stored in the application, this project deconstructs
and constructs the city’s DNA again and again.
NIAGA DNA builds a symbolic bridge from a physical body <—> a poetical/political body. Since
centuries, our eastern societies focus on individual trajectories while the collective ones still form the
frames through which we function. Here grounds the utopian collective component of the project: a
ritual made with/by/for the city. As matches that match the match, we, Karla Isidorou & Alexandra
Bellon, will challenge ourselves with the impossible task of 1 111 111 jumps to finish AND AGAIN, in 6,5 days. Collective help is required!
While being in a city square, we are social animals.
While jumping in a city square, we are so animals – like birds and whales.
While being & jumping, we remember that we are animals and simultaneously re-member that we are part of the large human community.
– K&A 01001011 & 01000001-