We are pleased to draw your attention to a lecture (on Zoom) organised by
Rutherford Appleton Labs lecture entitled
“Following Flexipede's Footsteps: Software Archaeology and Cybernetic Serendipity”.
In 1967, Tony Pritchett used the Ferranti Atlas computer at London University,
a nuclear fusion laboratory, and a squeaky office chair to create a short
film featuring what is arguably the world's first computer-animated character.
The following year, all two minutes of this whimsical little film were premiered
at Cybernetic Serendipity — a flagship exhibition of art, music, mathematics
and sculpture which blurred the boundaries between arts and sciences,
and changed the world’s view of computers as more than just automatic
Sadly, Tony is no longer with us, but this talk sets the scene for the making
of The Flexipede and its connection with the Atlas Computer Laboratory.
It illustrates how Kate got to know Tony and learn more about his work,
and how a chance remark led to the use of three home PCs,
another research laboratory, and a lot of coffee to scan thousands of punched cards.
Finally, the talk will give some insights into techniques Tony used in his program,
and reveal whether we really have rediscovered the Flexipede.
Join Kate Sullivan, Professor David Duce and Dr Victoria Marshall with Professor Bob Hopgood
via Zoom at 14:00 on Thursday 26 November at
In view of the present Covid-19 emergency the Society has decided that it will not be possible
to hold our next few lectures in our usual “face-to-face” fashion.
For the next few months, until the situation eases, lectures will be delivered
over the Internet using ZOOM.
In the absence of geographic constraints, the program will be a joint one.
It will be necessary to pre-register your intention to attend so that we can email you the information
you will need to attend.