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
The most clichéd things you can possibly associate with San Francisco are the Golden Gate Bridge and fog over the bay, but looking out at the bridge in a thick fog from Kirby Cove, with the skyline of the city peeking through, is just as magical as it is stupidly clichéd. Although you have to make your way to the Marin Headlands to experience this view, the Kirby Cove campgrounds are well worth the adventure into that home base of the anti-vaccination movement, just for their gorgeous view of the city.
One thinks of narrative occurring in fiction and film, in dance and theater, even sometimes in visual art. Only rarely does one consider the narrative power of a museum exhibition, but SFMOMA's "Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective" is indeed among the finest examples of walk-through storytelling. The exhibit is organized biographically, with her largest, most impressive pieces all facing one another in a single room, representing the dance of big ideas in her mind. Her forced relocation from her S.F. apartment influenced how she made later pieces, as did her chronic dental problems -- a fascination with transience and decay inhabits every piece, even including the small, quiet pieces she was able to work on through the cancer that ended her life. Her life story is set by your pace, or hers. SF Cinematheque builds on this essential piece of American history with its program, The Eyes: San Francisco Beat Film 1958-67, a series of short films by and about DeFeo's Beat contemporaries: Christopher Maclaine, Lawrence Jordan, the rare 1961 film The Brink based on ruth weiss's poetry, and The White Rose, Bruce Conner's film about DeFeo and her best-known work, a piece you yourself can approach and add to your own narrative.
Thu., Jan. 31, 7 p.m., 2013