The Smallest Unit is Each Other

Jonathan González

Side I
Cherry wood, steel legs

Words made flesh, muscle and bone, animated by hope and desire.
-- Sylvia Wynter

In The Smallest Unit Is Each Other, González juxtaposes original video content alongside archival ephemera, and invites the viewer to consider the smallest unit not as the individual, but as the community, understanding that we require one another for our survival. This concept is a creative directive, an organizing principle beyond the video through various media labeled SIDES A to I, each side made accessible to viewers through interaction highlighted in the choreographic scores below. The artist uses the term “sides” to reference the sides of cassette tapes: each side is only part of a whole, and the tape itself circulates through states of re-use and ownership in multiple, desired ways.

Each SIDE in The Smallest Unit Is Each Other is made accessible for visitors with an attention to interaction, rest, and play. The following descriptions identify the SIDES and some choreographies for engagement:

Sides A-F: a 35:25 min film organized episodically in six ‘SIDES’.

Side G: Our Chair, a chair made available for sitting. The cushions are printed with the text, “Words made flesh muscle and bone animated by hope and desire.”

Side H: a controller automating the film to stop, play, pause, fast forward, rewind, start from the beginning, and randomize when more than one button is pressed. It is on the floor at the base of Our Chair.

Side I: a topographical model made of cherry wood sits atop its own legs adjacent to the chair and is made available for touch. The topography depicts the historic site of Cockpit Country, Jamaica, site of a community of Accompong Maroons (formerly enslaved Africans and their descendants).

Yemi Amu, Rena Anakwe, Chazz Giovanni Bruce, Shannon Finnegan, Gil Sperling, Branden Kazon-Maddox