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
Countless documentaries have feebly attempted to probe and illuminate the creative process (the phrase "dancing about architecture" springs to mind), and even Dresden-born visual artist Gerhard Richter — an 80-year-old master of many brush styles and ideas, from photorealistic portraiture to abstract expressionism — believes his work can't be described with words. "Painting is another form of thinking," the soft-spoken but no-bullshit iconoclast tells Gerhard Richter Painting director Corinna Belz, whose magnificent and evocative observances of him laboring in his studio come as close as cinema gets to tracking the impulses and paradoxes of a gifted imagination. Alone with his enormous canvases, Richter studies his own vibrant-hued strokes and patterns, disappoints himself in the moment, then destroys and creates anew with a giant squeegee pulled across the would-be work of art, aided by Belz's deeply satisfying attention to the tactile sounds of paint slapped on or scraped away. New and vintage interviews with curators, historians, and collaborators help contextualize Richter's five-decade career, but who even needs talking heads when you have panning shots of exhibition-layout thumbnails — rich, beautiful art on their own at 1:50 scale. Gerhard Richter Painting convincingly immerses us into the world of one of the greatest, painting.
May 4-24, 2012