In a society rife with X-Files fascination, if not outright paranoia, we're increasingly bombarded with unbelievably true and truly unbelievable pseudo-science touching on everything from alien abductions, ephemeral New Age life philosophies, and psychic abilities. It's not that everyone buys all this claptrap, it's more that such once-marginal ideas have become cultural currency in our daily lives and conversations. People don't just claim they've been probed and prodded by little green men; they go into business selling "My wife was abducted by aliens and all I got was this lousy green love-child" T-shirts from their alien abduction Web sites.
Highlighting art's response to such preoccupations, Yerba Buena unveils "(extra)super[meta]," three exhibitions exploring our obsession with the mysterious and unexplained. "Above and Beyond," a group of works by both artists and true believers, inhabits the blurred border between science fiction and science. Plumbing the depths of the inexplicable, these sculptures, photographs, paintings, and video installations indulge in "evidence" of extraterrestrials, paranormal phenomena, and metaphysical truths. David Miles' "Walking Unafraid" examines a personal belief system in which certain artist-created objects have the power to ward off the worst life throws at him. These cardboard sculptures, drawings, and video works are prototypes for devices that can create protective force fields, relieve anxiety, and generate good luck, among other mysterious powers. Jim Campbell's video installations "Simultaneous Perspective" and "Frames of Reference"allow gallerygoers to experience ESP through a series of strategically placed video cameras, giving one the ability to exist at multiple places simultaneously.
"(extra)super[meta]" opens Saturday, and runs through April 30, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is free-$5. An opening night party for the exhibitions takes place Friday from 8 p.m. to midnight; admission is $10. Saturday at 3 p.m., David Miles gives the lecture "In Conversation: DIY and Its Consequences"; admission is $3-5. Call 978-ARTS.