Jon Tjhia

about, email, informal radio … ︎:  💎️ 🌵️ … ︎🎲️


A rectangular portal is framed by a radiant purple glow. Inside, an array of collaborative imagery has been collaged, mostly greyscale. A hearing aid is cradled in the palm of a hand, within a beam of light. This personal listening device is overlaid with an image of a radio astronomy telescope, its receiving dish pointed towards the sky. The receiving dish is supported by structural engineering in the form of a geometric scaffold. Above the dish, an antenna is held aloft. Its listening probe overlaps the central electronics of the hearing aid technology: micro and macro listening. An image of a white mobility cane has been overlaid diagonally across the hand. At its tip, its roller ball has been transformed into a glowing orb, emitting sound waves, signaled by concentric circles pulsing outwards. Another hand reaches into the frame, capturing a mid-expressive gesture. This hand is not grayscale but pale pink porcelain, and is smaller in scale than the hearing aid. On each of the three visible fingers, the nail tips are decorated with a maroon dot. In the top left corner of the image, there is a small window, also rectangular, framing an assemblage of shapes, suggestive of an imaginary glyph or letterform. The smooth, beveled edges of the glyph lend an embossed 3D effect, so that the abstracted glyph appears to protrude from the image plane. The glyph incorporates rounded shapes, spikes that reach outward, like a crown, and a spiral whorl. By Lloyd Mst and Fayen d’Evie, with collaborative contributions from Nelly Kate, Rebecca Bracewell, Georgina Kleege, and Benjamin Hancock

~~~~~“…derelict in uncharted space…”

(Chunky Move/Melbourne Fringe, 2023)

A sensorily-abundant performance and audio described radio season in October 2023. Inspired by Project Communicator – a mid-1970s fan-led initiative to bring Star Trek to blind audiences through descriptive radio plays

Conceptualised by Fayen d’Evie and Benjamin Hancock, and created with Fayen and Ben, Rebecca Bracewell, Luke D. King, Georgina Kleege, Nelly Kate, Andy Slater, Lloyd MST, Jon Tjhia, Alex Craig, Anastasia La Fey, Anna Seymour, Sheereen Perrin, Lorena Zapiain, George Thomas and Sheri Wells-Jensen, in association with Antony Hamilton, Bryan Phillips, Madeleine Flynn, Charles Gushue and Willa Piro. Audio described by Vitae Veritas (Nilgün Güven, Joshua Lynzaat, Rachel Edward, Milly Cooper), Zoe Scoglio and invited guests.

Produced for the Chunky Move x Melbourne Fringe Radical Access Commission. Deep thanks to Fayen and the entire crew for a uniquely generative, educational and rigorous transdisiplinary collaboration. Tickets here!

Photograph of the Debris Magazine 03 cover against a bookshelf

The Urge to Know

(Debris Magazine, 2023)

A literary magazine offering 16 responses – in fiction, non-fiction, poetry and reviews, an interview, a photo essay and a recipe – to the urge to know

With contributions from Jamie Marina Lau, Nayuka Gorrie, Jumaana Abdu, Justin Clemens, Martyn Reyes, Xen Nhà, Alison Whittaker, Cherine Fahd, Madison Pawle, Em Meller, Lucy Van, Snack Syndicate, Scott Limbrick, Zhi Cham, Samantha Floreani, Kat Gledhill-Tucker and Darcy Hytt. Holy shit!

Thank you Julia Flaster and Elena Tjandra for helming Debris and giving me the opportunity to collaborate with my incredible fellow guest editor, Cher Tan. Zenobia Ahmed designed this beautiful issue with typefaces by Dennis Grauel and Wei Huang. Order it now!

Slow looping animation of the objects featured in season one of Oscillations – a 'Native Police' button, a radiesthesia pendulum, a shed filled with electromagnetic equipment, a pedestrian crossing button, a 'Dole Blitz' poster, a fragment of a Skylab oxygen tank, a collection of camera lenses


(Powerhouse Museum, 2022)

A podcast of seven newly-commissioned sound works about people, movements and the world – refracted through objects held in the Powerhouse collection

Featuring beautiful, critical, lateral new pieces by Dakota Feirer, Alexandra Spence, John Jacobs and Jane Curtis, Miyuki Jokiranta, Omar Musa, Sally Olds and Jinghua Qian

The wonderful team at the Powerhouse includes the inexhaustible Cara Stewart, Ayeesha Ash, Mara Schwerdtfeger and Callum Cooper. Erin Hyde composed the gurgling, humming theme music


(Liminal, 2022)

A digital publication featuring eight newly-commissioned works of art and writing: poetry, essays, videos, correspondences, drawings and a hypothetical gift shop

With my deepest thanks to Serenity Department, Andrew Brooks and Arvind Rosa Brooks, Ju Bavyka, Ai Yamamoto, Fayen d’Evie and Lloyd Mst, Liang Luscombe, Flatwhite Damascus and Jean Bachoura and YY for their creativity, trust and spirit, and again to Leah Jing McIntosh for the invitation to guest-edit Mirror, and for her faith and support. Design, above, by Anny Luo

Photograph of a kraft cardboard box with 'weird noise' stamped on it in diffused, stylised text, and a stack of white A5-sized cards printed with photos, poems, essays and more

Meaningless Secs

(Weird Noise, 2022)

A short provocation about uselessness, industrial meaning-making, friction and inscrutability in radio-making, for issue one of new print zine Weird Noise

The sold-out inaugural edition of Eleanor McDowall’s latest work of space-making  (tireless excellence, I swear) includes essays, illustrations, poems and photographs by audio makers from around the world. It’s now freely readable online (with thanks to Charlie Shackleton). Thank you, El, for the invitation (🎺)!

Photograph of two copies of a book – the front cover reading 'Against Disappearance, a Liminal anthology' and the back reading 'A prescient collection of essays from the longlist of the Liminal & Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize' with cover quotes etc.

Present and Accounted For

(Liminal and Pantera Press, 2022)

An essay about materials, accumulations and the mortifying power of ten bucks. It lives in a new anthology of writing about memory and archives, available now

I’m beyond humbled to be published alongside the deeply engaged essays of the Liminal and Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize longlist. The collection is edited by Leah Jing McIntosh and Adolfo Aranjuez; special thanks to Leah for her generosity as an editor, encourager and enabler of this piece (and opportunity and collection and imprint)

A photograph of fruits and pamphlets and a headphone amplifier and candle arranged on a tablecloth amidst a mess of cords

These Thoughts Large and Public

(Open House Melbourne, 2022)

A live streaming radio broadcast from Victorian Trades Hall & Literary Institute, in collaboration with Snack Syndicate – with conversations, readings, stories and (top 40) songs about work, anti-work and the rights and precarities of labour

The broadcast spanned two days (and 13 hours) as part of Open House Melbourne 2022’s July Weekend artistic commissions, Take Hold of the Clouds, curated by Tara McDowell and Fleur Watson. Featuring Tony Birch, Jennifer Hamilton, Antony Moore, Chelsea Hart, Evelyn Araluen, Jonathan Dunk, Jathan Sadowski, Elena Gomez, Melody Paloma, Cher Tan, Terri Ann Quan Sing, MP Hopkins, Sally Olds and Arvind Rosa. Fayen d’Evie, Yue Yang and Luke Rigby’s thoughtful Open House / Open Access work intersects with this project. My gratitude for dream collaborators Andrew and Astrid knows no limit!

A scrolling animation of the NGA audio tour website for Ceremony

Ceremony audio tour

(National Gallery of Australia, 2022)

Seventeen audio tour stops for Ceremony – the NGA’s fourth National Indigenous Art Triennial curated by Hetti Perkins – composed around recordings of each artist in conversation and at work

With thanks to Keir Winesmith and Brittany Burgess at the gallery. Ceremony is open 26 March to 31 July 2022 in Canberra, on Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country

A branded graphic for 'The Circular' superimposed over a photo of headlights shining on dry grass fading into darkness at night

The Circular #18: audio edition

(Sydney Review of Books, 2022)

For The Circular’s first audio edition, a curation of sound works that implicate listeners or play with attention in interesting ways

Every Friday, The Circular assembles a curation of new and archival non-fiction from ‘Australia’, bringing some select pieces out from behind paywalls, too. It really embodies a belief in archives of ideas. Thank you Tiff Tsao and Sydney Review of Books for inviting me to be a guest editor!

A photograph of a magazine – Un Magazine – opened to the page of the essay mentioned below, laid out on a bed spread

_____________ complete ____ replacement

(Un Magazine, 2021)

An essay about solutions, metabolism, self-snooping, bodily score-keeping, latent heat, a long line of belly buttons, dead birds, our inscrutability … and possibly more? 👀

Published in Un Magazine 15.2: Metabolism (December 2021), commissioned and edited by Snack Syndicate (Astrid Lorange and Andrew Brooks). Thank you, A+A, for your patient and wise editing! I’m also grateful to Amita Kirpalani, Caroline Jumpertz, Emma Hartley, Lily Sloane, Mike Williams, Natalie Kestecher, Virginia Heal and Zacha Rosen for the loan of their voices, and for their generosity and trust

A photograph, in shallow focus, of bright yellow flowers in a dry brush forest

Midday, Wellsford State Forest

(Field Recordings, 2021)

Birds, bugs, breeze, bushes, Box-Ironbark

Recorded in Wellsford for Eleanor McDowall’s Field Recordings project

Black texta markings and doodles on pink paper


(Liquid Architecture/West Space/Bus Projects, 2021)

Audio archive recording and short narrative documentation as part of a multi-institutional exploration of cooperative art/s practice, centred around Collingwood Yards

Doodle/notes/scan by Nina Gibbes. Audio developed in collaboration with Joel Stern, Xen Nha and a host of others. Some recommended reading: Cher Tan, Maddee Clark, Timmah Ball

A brightly coloured photograph of two people's hands holding a runner's tether between them, and cups of tea

Play New: Jaryd Clifford

(Nike/SouthSouthWest, 2021)

Narrative audio and composition as part of a cross-media celebration of vision impaired runner Jaryd Clifford and his bond with guide runner Tim Logan

With Ben Birchall, Andy Sargent, Ben Bomitali, Alica Kroupa, Bonnie Moir and … a lot of other people. You have no idea how many people work on these things. (Film is mind-boggling). The nice photo above is by Sam Wong. Sorry for ruining your photo by adding the tile artwork, Sam 😰️

A collage of four pictures of artists from the Museum of Us project

The Museum of Us

(Arts Access Victoria/Victoria Together, 2021)

A digital exhibition of 49 Deaf, Disabled and Neurodiverse artists

Over a few months, I worked with artists to assist them in producing digitally accessible pieces for this fully captioned, audio described exhibition, with help from the AAV team (especially Fury). Curated by Caroline Bowditch

The Big Break That Broke Kate

(ABC RN, 2021)

Actor Kate McNamara walks us through her big break … down, for the ABC storytelling podcast Days Like These

With thanks to Kate, supervising producer Kyla Slaven, host Elizabeth Kulas, and the Days Like These season three team

Interview #172

(Liminal Magazine, 2021)

A nice long conversation with Nathania Gilson for Liminal, with photos by Leah Jing McIntosh

I wouldn’t normally put this kind of thing here, but some day we’ll all be dead, so why not?

Emotional Support Animal

(Darebin Arts, 2021)

An interactive short story about applause and the ways we crave to be observed, acknowledged and rewarded. Published in Proximities, a part of Exhibiting Culture Online

Commissioned and edited by Vidya Rajan. Interaction and layout coding by BF. (Full version works best on a laptop/desktop)

Good Long Time

(Going Down Swinging, 2021)

A short story about getting old, getting cold and living forever (or just a little longer, anyway). Published in Going Down Swinging #41: AR Edition

Edited by Magenta Sheridan. Augmented by augmented reality artist Anneli Goeller. Read it on a laptop/desktop if you can. In 41 Extra!, the digital launch of the edition, you can watch a short reading or eavesdrop on a conversation with fellow 41’er Lujayn Hourani. This story was included in the Woollahra Digital Literary Award 2021 Fiction shortlist

Tile image of a botanical background with a square tile in the middle, showing text: 'Radio Row featuring Jon Tjhia'

Radio Row

(WFMU, 2020)

A 59-minute radio broadcast constructed of smartphone voice memos and audio notes-to-self. Or: what is this sound, and why the hell did I record it?

Re-broadcast via Radiophrenia on 26 August 2023. Thanks to Adalya, Amita, André, Bec, Beth, Connor, Isobel, Ivy, Karishma, Masako, Nicole, Nicola, Pepi and Silvi for sharing their recordings

Horror Vacui

(Making Art Work/Institute of Modern Art, 2020)

A multimedia essay about fear of empty spaces, written with Mia McAuslan

Commissioned by Alex Holt. An extract appears in the book Making Art Work (IMA, 2021)

Manus Recording Project Collective: where are you today

(Liquid Architecture, 2020)

A recording and listening project

Produced in collaboration with Farhad Bandesh, Farhad Rahmati, Samad Abdul, Shamindan Kanapathi, Thanush Selvraj and Yasin Abdallah in Australian immigration detention, and André Dao and Michael Green. Read a dossier of writing about this work in Disclaimer

Division Exercises

(Avantwhatever, 2020)

A video essay about delineations, discernments and boundaries

For Avantwhatever’s 2020 artistic programme curated by Ben Byrne

Separation Studies

(LIMINAL, 2020)

A multimedia essay about divisions and separations

Edited by Cher Tan for LIMINAL Magazine’s Glitch series

Grey-headed Flying Fox Colony

(Field Recordings, 2020)

Ten minutes amongst the bats at dusk in Yarra Bend Park

For Eleanor McDowall’s Field Recordings project

Eavesdropping: A Reader

(City Gallery Wellington, 2019)

A contribution to the book accompanying the exhibition/investigation

Edited by James Parker and Joel Stern


(Constellations, 2019)

A four-channel sound installation and a podcast commission about the human voice, time and money

Part of the Resonant Bodies project curated by Aliya Pabani, Michelle Macklem and Jess Shane – exhibited at Toronto Media Arts Center and published on Constellations

Stipple patterns overlaid on a washed out photo of the Oulipo group

As Far as the I 

(BBC Radio 4, 2019)

A short radio feature for an Oulipo-themed episode of the podcast/radio programme Short Cuts

Signal Boost stylised text graphic

Signal Boost

(Wheeler Centre, 2019–)

Developed an inclusion- and experimentation-focussed audio storytelling programme

Participants received $10,000 each in funded learning, tailored mentorship, tools and equipment, practical support and paid work experience

Credit: Eddie Jim

The Empathy Museum: A Mile in My Shoes

(Arts Centre Melbourne, 2019)

An audio story about walking through the city of Melbourne and around the Yarra River at night

Presented as part of a rather literal installation in which you could wear … my shoes

Animated image showing different illustrated tiles for Notes


(Wheeler Centre, 2018–2020)

A digital publication showcasing award-winning original Australian writing and adventurous multimedia stories. R.I.P.!

Created and edited with Sophie Quick

Mind the Step: Kinesthesia and Craft 

(Barbican, 2018)

An essay about the body as a listening device – drawing on experiences of contemporary dance

Curated by Eleanor McDowall and Nina Garthwaite for the Barbican Centre’s Soundhouse: The Listening Body exhibition and public programme. Sketch by Nina!

Manus Recording Project Collective: how are you today

(Liquid Architecture/Melbourne Law School, 2018)

An installation built around daily recordings from six men living in Australia’s immigration detention on Manus Island

Part of the Eavesdropping investigation curated by Joel Stern (LA) and James Parker (MLS); shown at Ian Potter Museum of Art, City Gallery Wellington, Gus Fisher Gallery Auckland and Melbourne Law School

Editorial illustrations



Changes Again

(ABC Radio National, 2017)

A story about looking and seeing, breakage and recognition, for the podcast/radio programme Soundproof

Photo of Abdul Aziz Muhamat by Michael Green

The Messenger

(Behind the Wire and the Wheeler Centre, 2017–2019)

A podcast based on thousands of voice messages sent by Abdul Aziz Muhamat, a refugee detained on the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, to Michael Green, a journalist based in Melbourne

With Abdul Aziz Muhamat, Michael Green, André Dao, BF, Hannah Reich and Sophie Black. Winner of a W*lkley Award, NY Festivals International Radio Awards Grand Trophy and several others. No Grammy, but mum says it could still happen

Illustration by Sam Wallman

The Interrobang

(Wheeler Centre, 2017)

Digital production of a crowdsourced festival of questions – including a publication featuring Sheila Heti, Sam Wallman, Estelle Tang, Toby Fehily and Geoffrey O’Connor

Produced with Connor O’Brien

Tile image featuring a picture of paddle boats on a blue lake in Japan

Under and Over and Into and Between 

(Assemble Papers, 2017)

A mixtape (and interview) working through minimalism, stretched sounds and various positions on the human voice

Commissioned by Jana Perković

Australian Audio Guide


Co-founder/editor of a website offering short reviews of Australian podcasts and radio series, and interviews and features about how – and why – they were made

Created in collaboration with Kate Montague

Image of two record covers side by side

Speed Painters: Bellarine and Bellarine II

(Cutters Records, 2015)

Two records alloying slow-burning house music, techno and found sound

A musical group with Tig Huggins, Nick Huggins and Oscar O’Bryan

The Big Prawn

(ABC Radio National, 2015)

A short story, written by Katia Pase, about a young girl’s search for her mother and the mythical landmark of her childhood, for the podcast/radio programme Radiotonic

Your words, not mine

(Melbourne Writers Festival/Lit Hop Melbourne, 2014)

Is it weird to play the part of somebody else in a radio feature? Our sources say yes, and we have the research to prove it: namely, this unique radio karaoke event presented at Loop, which provoked novel ethical questions while taking a very long time to subtitle

Featuring works by Timothy Nicastri, Jaye Kranz, Jessie Borrelle, John Jacobs, Julie Shapiro, Michael Brydon, Tom Cho, Natalie Kestecher and Sophie Townsend, Quinn Eades and Russell Stapleton

20 Questions

(Wheeler Centre, 2014)

Interactive campaign and digital production of statistics-driven live event

With Simon Abrahams, Ian Pidd, Martyn Coutts, Icelab and more

Photo of a plaque – 'Tweets don't deserve to live forever. Conversations do'


(Wheeler Centre/Clemenger BBDO, 2014)

Awareness campaign for the Wheeler Centre, bridging digital/physical discussion with 100 temporary/permanent plaques mounted city-wide

With Michael Williams, Pauline O’Brien, Simon Abrahams, Tamara Zimet, Ben Keenan, Ben Birchall, Nathan Rogers, Sharon Adams, Berlin Abraham, Louise Sergent, Kate Little and more

Disorient Express

(Radio With Pictures/GRAPHIC Festival/Sydney Opera House, 2012)

A live performance of an illustrated radio feature, made in collaboration with artist Lachlan Conn, performed at Sydney Opera House and broadcast on FBi Radio

With thanks to Pepi Ronalds for sharing her experiences of the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and its nuclear aftermath. Commissioned by Gabriel Clark, Eliza Sarlos and the late Jesse Cox

Paper Radio

(est. 2010)

A long-running, now intermittent podcast (or journal) publishing fiction and non-fiction from Australia and New Zealand

Created with Jessie Borrelle

That’s all I’ve had time to put here right now. Hm – I wonder what Bryanboy is up to.