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
"I have literal speech and figurative movement," says Marc Bamuthi Joseph. He's talking about the pat-head-rub-tummy style of his critically acclaimed performances, in which he tells a story, say this one, from one of the videos on his MySpace page: "The European States made it an offense punishable by death for folks of color to be in possession of any noisemaking instrument." His hands pound an invisible drum, even as his feet start to move in a hazily familiar pattern. "However, they had enough business sense not to devalue their own property by cutting off our feet." He's full-out tap dancing in his sneaks now, and doesn't need to say anything literal. Or have the feet turned literal? Can he switch it up at will? At the break/s, Joseph digs deep into the history of hip-hop, using Jeff Chang's now-classic book Can't Stop Won't Stop as a jumping-off point and bringing in elements of his own life story. He calls it a mixtape for the stage, because he's joined onstage by DJ Excess and percussionist Tommy Shepherd, guided by the choreography of Staci Printz, and backed up by contributions from filmmaker Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi and dramaturge Brian Freeman. Tonight, Joseph also offers himself up for a Q&A session after the show.
June 19-21, 8 p.m., 2008