Hugi Magazine 32: Say It With Flowers

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The Alternative Year 2006 (By Maija "DiamonDie" Haavisto)

Afterparty 16th January 2006

The Alternative Party has already become a tradition for me and so many other people. Unfortunately, this year there was no Altparty. The organizers decided to throw an Afterparty on a Monday evening in mid January, under the guise that the Altparty had been arranged for the previous weekend. Even some foreign visitors came along who wanted to have their Finnish demoscene fix, even if it meant that the party was quite a bit smaller.

The partyplace had a Sauna, which was used by most of the party visitors. As it was the peak of Finnish winter, we also desired to have some extra warmth. There was a fireplace with a pile of logs, so we got a cozy fire burning. This should of been a great idea; in theory. It turned out that the flue didn't work properly, the place soon started to fill with smoke. The attempts to get the flue working were futile. In the end the fire was put out with water and nosfe carried the burning logs outside.

There was only one compo, the traditional El Compo, which accepts pretty much every kind of production from live performances to demos, videos, graphics and music. I entered a tribal ASCII picture. Since there wasn't too many entries, I and osyn drew another entry on lobotomy's stomach. It turns out markers weren't quite permanent when when they were applied on sauna-fresh skin. The other entries came from nosfe and Die Rebels, the latter of which won the competition.

Think Different 1st April 2006

In April the Altparty organizers held a celebration for the 30th birthday of Apple. Thanks to the generous sponsors; there was free soft drinks and apple candies available, plus the first 12 people to come to the party were offered a free Beer. This was even advertised in advance, but most of the people who arrived first declined the offer. Maybe this was because not all of the visitors were sceners, but instead were Mac enthusiasts. A Latvian (or Lithuanian?) girl wanted to join us without having any idea of the event, she seemed to enjoy herself. Assembly TV was also present.

There were some special festivities taking place as well. Setok held a nice slide presentation about Apple's history and showed us the legendary advertisement video "1984". Marycloud (who was wearing an apple necklace) had baked a delicious batch of Apple muffins. They weren't actually apple muffins, but raspberry muffins, dusted with confectionery sugar in the shape of Apple's logo.

El Compo de la Manzana is meant for all kinds of Apple-themed productions. I entered with a surreal ASCII picture of an apple. Other entries included an apocalyptic video from Nosfe (not sure what it had to do with Apple), a Mac demo from Jumalauta, and a performance from Die Rebels. There was as well a traditional apple eating compo, where a bucket is filled with water, an apple is placed in there. The contestants have to eat the apple without using their hands. Nosfe chewed his way to victory in both the semifinals and the final of the compo.

There were many different Apple computers present. There

was also a wonderful children's music toy called "The Amazing Band", which was a source of both amusement and torture. Someone (whose name I forgot) had brought a peculiar word processor appliance called the Canon Cat. It wasn't made by Apple, but it was designed by Jef Raskin who was also behind the Macintosh. A live mouse made two appearances during the party, but it was so quick that no one managed to take a picture of it. Thus it remains unknown if it was a normal mouse or a one-eared mouse.

The Alternative Stork 28th-30th July 2006

The Alternative Stork is the smaller event organized by the Altparty people, which has been held in the Otaniemi campus in Espoo right next to Helsinki in 2002 and 2004 in the past. This year the venue was Rantasauna, whose name ("beach sauna") gives some clue about the nature of the event. A sauna on the beach with a beautiful view to the Baltic Sea, filled with a few dozen sceners, what more could you ask for.

The party wasn't really computer oriented, there were just a handful of laptops and Trossi's Vectrex present. But there were enough people to fill the cozy wooden cabin so that it was crowded but not full. In the end there were about 40-50 visitors, including foreigners from at least Sweden, Norway, Italy, the Netherlands and the United States, and the Latvian/Lithuanian girl that also visited the previous party. Quite a large number of the visitors were female.

Besides the sauna and the associated refreshments the most popular activities at the party were barbequeing and swimming. Most people did it voluntarily, but Maali fell in the water by accident. There was some toxic algae in the water which was frequently blamed for the the throbbing morning headaches experienced by many of the visitors. Truck's birthday was celebrated with some bubbly drinks and he got a lovely scrapbook set (complete with stickers, origami papers and such) and slippers resembling wooden shoes as a present.

There were three different compos, one for inanimate entries (graphics), one for sound and one for animate entries (demos, wilds and live performances). The inanimate compo had three entries, which included two ASCII pictures and Truck's showing of his newly filled scrapbook. There were supposed to be four entries in the music compo, but one of the artists had passed out under the bigscreen, so we had to do with three: two MP3s and one half-live performance by osyn and BassCadet.

The animate compo featured several demos and a few animations, including the first demo made for the Intel Mac and a demo made for an ancient Canon X-07 calculator. Parental Advisory's Extreme Emo Content showed us the current sorry state of the Boozembly hills and finished with a famous disco video from last year's Boozembly, invoking a huge applause among the audience. Flo had made a dark, noisy and chaotic demo like they usually do. Boozoholic's demo was a bit noisy and chaotic as well, but in a more uplifting manner including some kitsch imagery.

The votes were again collected on tiny sheets of paper. I don't know how many people bothered to vote, but there were no ties among the winners. I won the inanimate compo and osyn and BassCadet won the music compo. The democompo was won by Boozoholics, which surprised me since I expected the emo demo to win. The prizes included cash, normal and Diet Coke and some wooden barriers and traffic signs that someone had stolen the previous night. Strangely none of the winners wanted those so they were returned to their original locations.

Maija "DiamonDie" Haavisto