project #2

by Sean brian Mcdonald

5” x 3” x 1” 
(exact dimensions vary)
Cotton, silk, chiffon, paper,
styrofoam and dark blue enamel
Edition of 39

Devices by Sean Brian McDonald is an editioned series of handheld, pocket-sized objects that are a commentary on our dependency on and obsession with social media.


Devices was hatched during the artist's time as a LACMA gallery attendant, where he observed the frequency with which people went to their phones out of pure habit. As he says, “maybe they would take a picture, but never really look at and experience an artwork in the flesh.” This work serves as a temporary replacement for the phone, “kind of like a pacifier! A way of being in the moment and being aware of your surroundings”, says McDonald.  About the size of an IPhone, a total of 39 handheld sculptures are composed of cotton, silk, chiffon, paper, styrofoam and dark blue enamel.  When asked why he chose to produce the specific number of works for this project, McDonald explains, “39 vibrates to a 3, which is expansive and exploratory, but I think it's best to simply say, I stopped when I stopped."

Additionally, Devices presents a contrarian perspective on the current state of the contemporary art world. Founder of The Culture Creative and Director of AUX, Sean Yashar shares, "Imagine a world where art isn't purchased for status, but rather for personal experience. These pieces are small, meant to be held, very tactile. Something you can have with you all day, in your pocket or thrown in your tote, briefcase, or purse. A beautifully made object that falls between a talisman, meditation beads, and sculpture."