Jeddy-3, a humanoid robot built from spare parts, is a recurring character on Grandaddy‘s record The Sophtware Slump. The affection of Jed’s creators for their brainchild wanes as their shifting attention migrates to new inventions. In a state of despair the gloomy Jed drinks himself into a permanent shutdown. According to Grandaddy, before Jed’s system crashed he would write poems. Poems for no one. This song, Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground), is one of those poems–serving as an elegy for the emotionally neglected and now departed Jeddy-3.
This music video was created by programming simple text animations on a vintage 1979 Apple ][+ computer; a computer so old that it is only equipped with 48K of RAM (far less than your mobile phone), contains no hard drive or mouse, and only types in majuscules. Music by Grandaddy. Video concept and execution by Stewart Smith. Cinematography by Jeff Bernier. The “prepared Apple computer” used to make the video was included in the Art Directors Club 2009 Young Guns exhibition with the Jed software running on loop from the original floppy disk.
Following the video’s release Stewdio posted the source code for download making this the first open-source music video. Enthusiasts have experimented with the code on Apple II emulators and it has even inspired a fan-made video for the post-punk anthem Up the Down Escalator by The Chameleons. In May of 2010 Panic Inc. loaded the source code via an iPad onto their vintage Apple //e to create their own video.
Gizmodo in The Best Song Ever Written About A Robot Friend by Mat Honan. December 2011
The Unofficial Apple Weblog Apple-related discussion forum. May 2010
Daring Fireball blog. May 2010
9to5 Mac Apple-related discussion forum. May 2010
Panic Inc’s company blog. May 2010
Cimatics Festival “Altered States” in Brussels. November 2009
Pluto Festival in Belgium. October 2008
Rocketboom video blog. November 2007
Design Observer design forum. November 2007
Impakt NL digital festival. August 2006
Res Magazine and DVD. July 2006
OneDotZero UK digital festival. June 2006
Short Attention Span Digital Video Festival, Audience Award winner. March 2006
Artefact Festival for art and new media in Belgium. February 2006
Specialten DVD Magazine, No 13. February 2006
Rocketboom video blog. November 2005
Creative Review’s “Creative Futures” special issue, pages 102-103. November 2005
AIGA‘s “Type,Write” installation of expressive typography at AIGA’s annual design conference. September 2005