Black Box Bellagio

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The Black Box Bellagio - an unusual casino that won't take your money, but is after your freedom, integrity and private data instead. Play with the (un)fairness of expected values and chances, predicted risks, and giving up your identity. Disclaimer: the house always seems to win..

Play and find out which personal data you are willing to share with your fellow players. During the game you will learn to look at your personal data in an alternative way. Do you care about your privacy or about winning the game? How far do you go?

During the evening you can visit the casino between 8 pm - 1 am to play a.o. roulette, poker or blackjack. Be on time to be guaranteed of a spot at the table. Entrance is € 5,- (tickets available at the door at De Nieuwe Anita)

Algorithms, information and uncertainty
It is a well-known fact that Facebook uses algorithms to track our behavior. But what these algorithms do is commonly unknown. This creates an untrustworthy situation towards information provided by these algorithms, think about information on food, technology, news, doctors or banking. Everything is false until proven otherwise.

One of the driving forces behind a gambling game is the uncertain state of 'simultaneously knowing and not-knowing'. With poker players risk their bet by judging the value of their cards over their opponents’ by trying to deduct clues from non factual elements when playing face to face. One tries to read the opponent's behavior and facial expressions, and assess whether they’re bluffing or not.

Proof is ‘found’ in subjective predictions — a mathematical game made human. This subjectivity is surprisingly similar to profiling risks and identities through online algorithms. Think of someone who googles nail polish, who is automatically considered female. Such elements of uncertainty, insecurity and overgeneralization are indispensable for the Black Box Bellagio.

The Black Box Bellagio has been developed by Roos Groothuizen, an Amsterdam-based designer and artist, who cares about digital rights. The Black Box Bellagio has been realized in collaboration with Ymer Marinus.

The Black Box Bellagio is organised as part of the project DECODE. Via the casino DECODE engaged a new group of people to increase awareness of the issues around personal data and data commons.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 732546.

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