justin.tv and art. lebedev

  • Justin.tv jostles for attention as the new ze frank. Justin and 3 of his friends have started a company to make online, live video easy. He wears a head-cam 24-7 and their shared apartment / office space has house cams as well. What will keep my attention is that I can relate to these guys in a way I couldn’t with Steve Mann (who arguably is the godfather of wearable cameras and is definitely a bigger thinker about the technology and political implications than Justin and his buddies). I flipped through some of the justin.tv archives and found myself transfixed — it reminded me in many ways of the geek houses talked about in Microserfs; watching these guys take meetings and putz around with computers all day is oddly satisfying background music. Although right now, it’s 7AM in California and the dude is still sleeping. C’mon, son — get your day going!

  • Art. Lebedev Studio is a design collective that produces a wide variety of projects – physical objects (toys, industrial design), websites, graphic design, blogs, and print publications. They caught my attention with their process section that shows examples of their creative process every day and also their different info visualizations of their body of work. (see this bar graph for example). I am really digging the idea of participating in something like this. Working alone is fine for some things, but getting together w/ a group of smart, creative people to just crank out interesting work either for clients or just on spec is kind of an intriguing fantasy. I think a collective is different than just a design studio since there isn’t an inherent hierarchy. Uber-successful collectives “grow up” to be full-on studios with “lead designer” and “partners” and all that — that infrastructure must come with the territory of bigger projects. The not-so-successful collectives (monetarily, that is) probably grow up to be “art groups” or “art collectives.”