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The Lives Already Given to Work


Eleven pre-recorded news bulletins distributed via the museum’s public announcement system

Each approximately 1 min 

Voiced by Sandra Sully

Composed of a series of experimental news bulletins voiced by leading Australian journalist Sandra Sully, The Lives Already Given To Work is an audio work played at the top of each hour via the public announcement system of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA). Drawing a connection between different information distribution infrastructures found in the museum, the work plays on the role and history of media technologies and communication networks in women’s movements and questions the expectation of neutrality imposed upon the newsreader herself.



Publication printed and collated by front-of-house staff on the museum’s printer

21 x 29.7cm, 21 pages


Designed by Maud Vervenne

The bulletins are accompanied by a publication that was printed on the office printer, collated and bound by the front-of- house staff at the MCA. Designed by Maud Vervenne, SLUGLINES is composed of a collection of headlines belonging to each of the bulletins making up The Lives Already Given To Work, typeset as one-line poems.

In newspaper editing, a 

'slug' is the term given to stories that are in production, termed as such while they make their way from the reporter and through the editorial process towards publication. In a classic feminist move of diverting institutional resources— one learned from the grey literature scattered throughout the research underpinning the work—this publication was produced in-house by the same staff who operate the PA switchboard and is distributed freely via the information point they oversee: the front desk.

This two-part work was exhibited in The National 4: Australian Art Now at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, from March 21 – July 9, 2023. It was curated by Jane Devery. 

Print the publication here

Read catalogue text by Susan Gibb here

Photos by Jacquie Manning


Sound files

Bulletin One (10am)

Bulletin Two (11am)

Bulletin Three (12pm)

Bulletin Four (1pm)

Bulletin Five (2pm)

Bulletin Six (3pm)

Bulletin Seven (4pm)

Bulletin Eight (5pm, Fridays only)

Bulletin Nine (6pm, Fridays only)

Bulletin Ten (7pm, Fridays only)

Bulletin Eleven (8pm, Fridays only)

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