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 San Franciscans know about wind. It forces us to wear jackets nearly all year, sends us chasing after our hats, turns our umbrellas into crash-landed mechanical birds, and makes for great kite-flying or wind-surfing. Add “makes great art” to that list. Artist Charles Sowers created a sculpture that illustrates the wind's patterns. Posted to a wall outside the Randall Museum at the base of Corona Heights (a hill near the Castro), is his large-scale sculpture, Windswept, which interacts with the moving air. The sculpture is a large, rectangular plate with 612 rotating directional arrows that look like metal paper airplanes with four holes in each wing. Every time the wind blows, the arrows rotate toward a different direction, making the entire sculpture move in sections and creating an ever-changing image. Put on your headphones and play some music, and you can enhance the experience. Following today's dedication ceremony is a slide presentation and discussion with Sowers, along with a wind-inspired craft activity for kids.
Sat., Feb. 4, 10 a.m., 2012