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 will dispense with the double entendres: Carol Doda, who we lost in November, was a San Francisco hero who will be rightly celebrated and remembered as long as the town she helped create still stands, the torch held aloft along Broadway and kept alight in neon.
The life of the visual artist is a solitary one, requiring long days and nights spent in a studio huddled over canvas or sculpture or the like. Of course, we neophytes who gather to gawk at the products of this labor while downing free glasses of wine don’t see the blood, sweat, and repetitive stress injuries produced for the works. “Working Conditions” makes this process more transparent. During the run of the exhibition, nine artists devote 15 hours per week to toil in a large, shared space for all to see. It’s an exploration of conventional notions of artistic production as well as an opportunity for outsiders to see how the each paint daub coheres. There are five so-called Hump Day Happy Hours on Wednesdays in which observation occurs. Watching these works-in-process isn’t entirely a passive proposition. While she prepares work for her next exhibition, painter Jennie Ottinger invites observers to join in by rendering underdrawings and mixing colors. Charlene Tan welcomes onlookers to take part in her research installation and ad-hoc think tank by joining the ongoing discussion on cultural identity. For folks who prefer to hang back and enjoy the complimentary happy hour libations, there’s plenty to observe, such as Ethan Worden’s ever-evolving wooden sculpture installation, Simple Building of a Staggering Wreck, and Wafaa Yasin’s presentations of labor as a form of performance.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 6 p.m. Starts: Dec. 7. Continues through Jan. 7, 2011