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
We've all had that day: the one where you accidentally hit "Reply All" on an email intended for one or get rear-ended as you're backing out of the veterinary clinic where you've just spent your life savings to find out that the results on your cat's blood work are "inconclusive."
San Francisco is home base for some of the world’s greatest aural explorers. An orchestra of toys or insects, flames that sing arias, organs played by the lapping of the sea, and minuets written by the subtle movement of a composer’s limbs are not uncommon here — but they are remarkable. Every other year, Soundwave brings these distinct and daring artists together for a summer-long fete staged within museums, nightclubs, abandoned bunkers, rolling buses, and open fields. This year’s festival opens with “The Beginning of the End,” a night of art, science, and sound set against the closing cycle of the Mayan calendar. Shannon O’Malley, author of Apocalypse Cakes, offers sugary dainties, while Oakland’s hypnotic space-rock quintet the Lumarians holds court in the piazza. In the planetarium, hear the Aurora Borealis stretched across 12 strings. Have your future read by the Cellar Ensemble’s sound-and-light oracle, play music on an “empathetic facial responder,” draw pictures with light on the Lumisketch, or meditate on the sound of the earth moving under your feet with seismic sound artist Stephen Hurrel. Whichever path you choose, this will be quite an introduction to the season.
Thu., July 5, 6 p.m., 2012