Presenting visual and performance art in unexpected public spaces.

Mike Estabrook, AiOP 2010 artist, has a teddy bear with a chip on its shoulder

Here is something you don’t see teddy bears doing: REBELLING. Yes, it appears that there is a teddy bear on the loose with an agenda coming out during the festival. Mike’s Estabrook’s piece called “”The Teddy Bear Market Uprising, A Revolution Squared” is a participatory project using people’s responses to create his work. This is definitely one interesting piece because it is part art, part political and part statistical. Sounds complicated but it should be an exciting project to be part of.

How does an angry teddy bear get into the mix of things? Mike took the time and described his project further.



On Sept. 22nd, I, along with the help of two fellow artists, Mona Kamal (surveyer), and Vandana Jain(photographer) headed out into the wilderness of Union Square to survey a random assortment of people about their thoughts on the Teddy Bear Market Uprising. Mona and I presented a survey depicting the Teddy Bear (below) and asked them two questions: 1. “what is your social class (upper, upper middle, middle, working, lower)?”, and 2. “In a fictitious art battle would you fight for or against the Teddy Bear Market Uprising?” (The Teddy Bear is, of course, prominently marked with the Hammer and Cycle, and was defined as “the struggle for socialist utopia”

Photo courtesy of Mike Estabrook



All classes were represented, and we had a wide range of responses ranging from a resounding “YES”, to a “Die! Socialist Scum!”

Photo courtesy of Mike Estabrook
Photo courtesy of Mike Estabrook



good times were had by all…

Photo courtesy of Mike Estabrook
Photo courtesy of Mike Estabrook
Photo courtesy of Mike Estabrook

My end goal for all this is to make a drawing depicting fantasy soldiers made of 5 colors (reflecting the 5 social class categories in the survey), in which the pro-teddy factions will be placed on the left, and the anti-teddys will be on the right. This will be seen at the opening event for Art In Odd Places at Theater Lab on Oct. 1.


In addition to showing the drawing at this event, I will be rolling percentile dice to determine people’s social class for the event (the dice rolls will reflect the percentage distribution of social classes in the USA). Those lucky enough to roll a 100 will be upper class, and will get a t-shirt of Teddy Bear Market Uprising!

Thanks, Mike! We look forward seeing the final product.

You can see Mike and the Teddy Bear Uprising project in action during the Opening Festival this coming Friday. The event invitation can be found here. RSVP now.

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