Tony Pritchett
The Flexipede

The Flexipede had its premiere in Cybernetic Serendipity, and was reputed to be the first computer-generated animated film made in the UK. Tony Pritchett produced it on the University of London’s Atlas Computer (one of the world’s first supercomputers) using FORTRAN IV—a programming language that was employed in computationally intensive research, such as numerical weather prediction, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, and so on. FORTRAN IV was widely used by artists and programmers in the Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition.

Pritchett wrote the subroutines (program instructions) using punch cards, then transferred the output to tape using a FORTRAN-based graphics software package called GHOST. The tapes were used to produce an output on a plotter printer and then filmed by a microfilm recorder.

Text To Speech

Tony Pritchett, The Flexipede (excerpt), 1967, 16 mm film transferred to video