When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
The sinews of old San Francisco lie in the water: the posts standing in the Bay mud that supported the docks and piers where the shipping that made the city possible, and later allowed it to flourish, flowed.
A Wink and a Smile combines a survey of the underground burlesque resurgence, where the traditional striptease style is often subverted to ironic effect, with a look at the gradual mainstreaming of that fringe revival, and the decidedly above-ground women who are attracted to the form for the least ironic reason imaginable: self-empowerment. Director Dierdre Timmons follows 10 women enrolled in a Seattle burlesque class taught by one Miss Indigo Blue, who helps them prepare the performance that will cap six weeks instruction. The film focuses on the body, sexuality, and confidence issues the women face down, and while thats easy to applaud, why pasties and something called a pussy check have to enter the equation is a bit problematic. The tension between wanting to root for these women and ultimately being faced with what youre rooting for (a pair of pinwheeling boobies) goes completely unresolved. The triumphant finale only reinforced my suspicion that whatever delicate balance the fringe, neo-burlesque revival maintained between art, intellect, and good old titillation (and Timmons includes footage of some fascinating performances by female, male, male-as-female, female-as-male, and female-as-male-as-female burlesquers) is imperiled by its absorption into the masses, which have never much cared why youd want to show us your tits, as long as you do.
Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays, 7 & 9:15 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 2, 4, 7 & 9:15 p.m. Starts: May 29. Continues through June 2, 2009