These Thoughts Large and Public

These Thoughts Large and Public, posters designed by Paul Mylechrane and printed by Trent Walter

These Thoughts Large and Public was a live digital radio program by Snack Syndicate and friends that was broadcast from Solidarity Hall in the Victorian Trades Hall and Literary Institute in Naarm / Melbourne to a live audience on Saturday July 30, 2022 (10am–4pm) and Sunday July 31, 2022 (10am–5pm) as part of the exhibitionTake Hold of the Clouds, an exhibition overlay during Open House Melbourne.

For These Thoughts Large and Public, Snack Syndicate collaborated with invited guest speakers Tony Birch, Evelyn Araluen, Jonathan Dunk, Jathan Sadowski, Chelsea Hart, Antony Moore, and Craig Johnson; poets/artists/writers Elena Gomez, Cher Tan, Melody Paloma, Terri Ann Quan Sing, Sally Olds, Ender Başkan, Sanja Grozdanić, and Matthew P. Hopkins; radio producer Jon Tjhia; designer Paul Mylecherane; scholar of weather Jennifer Hamilton; and chef Boris Portnoy.

Highlights from the live broadcast, edited by Jon Tjhia

The broadcast staged public discussions around labour, culture, and politics in an era of economic, social, and environmental crisis. With a cast of guests and collaborators, we explored counter-histories of the ‘worker’ in order to consider how labour has been conceived, organised, and challenged over time, as well as radio’s vital role in producing public discourse. We talked about the history of the region and Aboriginal resistance against the colony of Victoria and the settler colony of Australia; sex work and social reproduction; gig work and automation; artistic labour and political economy; and the building as a site for workers’s struggles and solidarity.  In between discussions, we presented short papers on radio, revolution, music, poetry, and 3KZ, the radio station that was housed in Trades Hall for most of the twentieth-century. 

Over the two days, we asked: What is the history – and counterhistory – of the proletariat, both within and outside (or against) the worker, the worksite, and the union? What does it mean to share in a vision of the world after work? What is the space for music, poems, snacks, friendship, and study in the long project of liberation? 

These Thoughts Large and Public included a program of talks, weather forecasts, a poetry reading, and a top-40 (anti) work jam countdown. (Baked treats were provided by All Are Welcome to nourish those who joined the program live). We collaborated with our producer Jon Tjhia, artist Fayen D’Evie, and designer Yue Yang and Luke Rigby to provide a real-time accessibility stream that translated the broadcast to text and was accessible both over the internet and live in Trades Hall. Listeners on line texted in contributions over the course of the weekend. By the end of the broadcast, Solidarity Hall was alive with the music of kids, tinnies, and comradely love. 

Image credit: Tom Ross
Image credit: Tom Ross
Image credit: Tom Ross