The Lottery is controlled by a computerized system, a unique software developed by us, which we keep improving continually. However, its basic behavior is simple: the system randomly chooses, at each moment of The Lottery and for each of its participants, an order which she will have to follow and the time allotted for fulfilling it. Here are some details about the event and software’s structure. You can read about different variations to the general structure in the Lottery Variations section.
Everyone who wants to take part in the Lottery, has to go through a personal interview by a representative of the Lottery. The interview takes about 10-15 minutes, and includes a variety of bureaucratic, personal and moral questions. It helps us divide the participants to interesting heterogeneous groups of different Lotteries, and to filter out participants who might hurt themselves or others. But we also view it as an integral part of the event itself, even if it takes place in a different place and time. It simulates the attitude of the computer: an authority with ambiguous and seemingly random intentions, moving between the personal, intrusive, sweet or boring.
In other words, the interview is a performance by itself.
How the Orders are Given
There are two ways in which orders can be given in The Lottery: in the discreet mode, the computer calls one (or more) participant, either by her name or by a designated number. When the participant reaches the computer, she will get the order by a written text (in her chosen language).
Other orders are publicly given: said out loud by the computer.
Most of the orders in the Lottery are personal, and given to a single participant. But there are lots of other orders of different types:
- Dual Orders: Orders that involve two participants. All of them are discreet, and so the two participants are called together by the computer, and must arrive together to get their order
- “Caste” Orders: At some of the Lotteries, the computer randomly divides the participants in advance into three groups, or Castes as we like to call them. The hierarchy between these groups change through the event, and each group can receive designated orders, mostly given publicly.
- General Orders: As their name suggest, these orders are for all of the participants, and are given publicly.
In the system’s database, the orders are divided to several categories, for example: Dialogue-promoting, Spatial, Trivial, Lies, Identity-changes, Sexual or Violent (and many more). Each category of orders has a different probability assigned to it at different times during the event.
This feature allows us to control the atmosphere of the event at any given moment, without interfering we the system itself: the order are still chosen randomly, but in different probabilities at different times. Furthermore, each order has its own probability within the category, to increase the system’s adjustability.
Most of the orders stand by themselves, but the system allows us to create connections between different order groups. And so: if a certain order which is a part of an “Order Sequence” is chosen, it forces the computer to choose a related order in a designated interval.
For Example: one participant can get an order to violently react to any offensive remark made to her, and a minute later another participant will get an order to honestly insult that participant, or to be extremely nice to her.
There is no outer supervision over the fulfillment of the orders within the event, but there is a subtle kind of inner-group supervision.
In some cases, when the computer calls one of the participants, instead of giving her an order it reveals to her the next order of one of the other participants. The decision of what to do with this information is up to her: whether to follow the other participant or not, tell her that she’s being supervised, reproach her if she hasn’t done it or compliment her. What is important is that every participant knows that for each of the orders she gets, one of the other participants might know of the order, and she can’t tell who.