This Is Sean

...and these are his things. A portrait of network administrator/SFZero Founder Sean Mahan and a birds-eye view of the material things that define him.

Name: Sean MahanAge: 25Location: San FranciscoBirthplace: Born in Snellville, Georgia (but grew up in Medford, New Jersey)Occupation: Network administrator for an architecture firm in San Francisco and one of the founding directors of SFZero, an anti-boredom societyWork hardMy first I.T. job was technical support for the humanities division of the University of Chicago. Now I'm the only I.T. guy at a firm in San Francisco. I was an English major, but I guess it's pretty common for liberal-arts people in the Bay Area to end up in tech jobs.Play harderAlternate-reality games are usually based online with a narrative revealed in a decentralized way. We decided that for SFZero, the plot would come from the players.

And These Are His Things


1. Stencils for T-shirts from a show his "fake" band played.

2. Jameson Whiskey: "Fredric Jameson asked, ‘What is life but reduction to the body, to the present?' Really, what is whiskey but reduction to the body?"

3. Old, often-repaired sweater: "I hate buying new clothes."

4. Drawer of electronics.

5. Self-made infrared camera.

6. Ikea light: "Whenever someone's SFZero task gets approved online, it turns on."

7. Spray-painted shoes with 9-volt-powered LEDs.

8. City of Quartz by Mike Davis: "Passion shouldn't be incompatible with academia."
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