Chaos Constructions Winter 2020
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Chaos Constructions Winter 2020, a winter session of computer art festival Chaos Constructions, recently took place in the Russian town of Roschino, Leningrad oblast (at the resort called Raivola). This is the oldest event of such kind in Russia, its history begins in 1995, when initial event called Enlight was held as a demoparty, re-formatted and renamed in 1999, and nowadays it is largely an IT conference. From the beginning, it is internationally recognized because of the international nature of the Demoscene, where the community comes from, and the latest 2019 "main" summer event was opened by Richard Stallman.
Traditionally the main event is held at last weekend of summer. This, additional and smaller, winter session was held at the "last" weekend of winter (on February 21–23, ignoring the next 29 February winter's "leap" Saturday). The latest event was an extra opportunity for Demoscene/IT people to communicate and to participate in contests, some of which are positioned as preparatory for the upcoming 2020 summer festival. Such demoparties are natively of international nature, because of the Demoscene culture being originally international—it descends to the times of ZX-Spectrum and Amiga home computers (since 1980s) and FIDONET custom computer network. This means international participants, not only domestic, usually take part (visit and contest), both "physically" and remotely (by watching webcasts and talking by chats).
Contests and reports are dedicated to computer art (graphics and music) and computer technology. The contests are divided into traditional (for ready works) and "real-time" — for works made right at the venue. Demoscene music (tracker music) contests are usually known as "compos". "Computer DJs" also play their music during the event. Report makers dedicate their speeches to both computer artwork and programming, round tables also take pace. The inherent part of every festival is a retrocomputing exhibit where old computers and the alike appliances are shown and available to work and play. There may be tournaments for old games, e. g. such as Doom, Mortal Kombat and so on. There are also open-air "sports" competitions in disciplines such as "throwing HDDs"—a kind of "IT sport disciplines" found at events like "sysadmin days".
Chaos Constructions Winter 2020 featured the first-ever in Russia contest dedicated to programming of shaders—Shader Showdown. A series of such contests are held in Finland and Germany, at the demoparties Assembly and Revision. The ticket to Revision was given as a prize to the winner of Russian Shader Showdown.
The numbers of "physical" paricipants of the Roshchino festival totalled 75, while online visitors counted in more than 800, mainly from Russia and Europe. Seven works were presented at the contests, some of them by newcomers. The prizes for "music compos" winning were shared between residents of Malaysia and Indonesia. The 1st place in demo making won the Russian-Belorussian crew called Fenomen for a 4-kilobyte demo under Windows platform, featuring 3D animation and genuine music with duration over 2 minutes (4 kilobytes is a very important characteristic in terms of "art of programming"). All works and contest results are available at festival's website.