Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground)

http://stewd.io/jed

Stewdio-jed-code-0480x0270

The original Applesoft BASIC program used to create this text animation has been open-sourced. See this project’s description text for more details or visit http://stewd.io/jed to download it.

Stewdio-jed-credit-0480x0270

Jed’s Other Poem is a music video for Grandaddy’s song of the same name.


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.


Released September 2005.