#photography & visual arts
A virtual candidate for the Presidency of the Republic of Poland – a group of Gdańsk-based artists working together as CUKT (Centralny Urząd Kultury Technicznej/The Central Bureau of Technical Culture), including Rafał Ewertowski, Robert Michał Jurkowski, Jacek Niegoda, Maciej Sienkiewicz, and Piotr Wyrzykowski.
The authors organized a professional presidential campaign for the virtual candidate Wiktoria Cukt before the 2001 election for the President of the Republic of Poland. The candidate had a 'virtual personality' – sheer information, free of its own views, and operated through an especially written computer programme called Electoral Citizen Software (Obywatelski Software Wyborczy). The programme, promoted and released online, enabled all citizens, voters, Internet users to generate the political views of Wiktoria Cukt, the future president.
Wiktoria Cukt Presidential Campaign 2001 from Piotr Wyrzykowski on Vimeo.
Wiktoria Cukt was created as a perfect candidate, meeting both realistic and unrealistic expectations of her supporters:
All of us will be able to express our opinions on topics that matter in our country, as well as have influence on all of the President's decisions. It will be a country in which politicians are redundant, and the parliamentary democracy system will turn into electronic democracy.
– Wiktoria Cukt's campaign programme proclaimed, while her lead slogan was: Politicians Are Obsolete.
Wiktoria Cukt was conceived as a reflection of a political image in the new reality, in which the electronic media's role is gradually expanding.
I am all those people who speak for me. I express the views of the Internet users who desire and write down my propositions. I am impartial, I speak for everyone without censoring them – if people are vulgar, so am I, if they have leftist inclinations, so do I, if their conduct is polite, so is mine.
president of the republic of poland
politics and society
centralny urząd kultury technicznej
the central bureau of technical culture
In the election year, the CUKT artists set up election campaigns for their candidate in several Polish cities, receiving some genuine support from the media. Television and radio stations, daily press, and colour magazines cheered the virtual candidate, commented on the ideas behind the project, as well as reproduced the ever so attractive image of Wiktoria Cukt. She appeared on billboards and magazine covers – an elegant middle-aged lady, with a film star-like look, stylish hair-do, impeccable make-up, and a saucy beauty mark on her cheek.
Wiktoria Cukt's campaign, led efficiently by the group of artists, reached the status of an artwork. Its consecutive stages were realized in the form of exhibitions, while the election day was celebrated with an exhibition devoted to her, curated by Maria Morzuch at the Art Museum in Łódź.
Author: Ewa Gorządek, March 2015, transl. Ania Micińska, April 2015