The Subservient President is a political parody of Burger King’s Subservient Chicken advertising campaign. The Subservient President attempts to give ordinary people a momentary sense of what it’s like to be a wealthy Bush campaign donor or an oil industry executive. Just type a command into the database and watch the President take your order – anything from “dodge the draft” or “get arrested for drunk driving” to “start a war in Iraq” or “give tax breaks to billionaires.”
Underlying the overtly satirical aspects of the project is the fact that American politics increasingly seem like they are being made-to-order, catering to public opinion polls and the whims of centrist, “undecided” voters rather than being guided by social needs or ethical principles. With the 2004 Presidential election looming, The Subservient President proposed a darkly humorous counterpoint to the media hype and superficial campaigning that sometimes stand in for legitimate political discourse in this country.
The Subservient President launched anonymously in July 2004 during the Democratic National Convention in Boston. After being picked up by bloggers covering the convention, the site was visited by more than 12 million unique users and received widespread media coverage, including a feature story on CNN, as part of a new generation of politically motivated web art. It is included in the Rhizome ArtBase and the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.projects on Jun 29th, 2009