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
In the city, dueling cultural fairs are nothing new. On any given weekend, we have any number of gem fairs going against any number of printmakers balls, celebrations of craftspeople, and juried photography blowouts. This weekend, however, we have dueling contemporary art fairs, both of which are huge, and this is something new: S.F. has never been much of a player in the contemporary art multiday blowout (think Art Basel), and now we have two serious shows going head-to-head. Both of which wed like to go to, so nice scheduling, losers! But we can forgive: The S.F. Fine Art Fair is in only its second year, and artMRKT is brand-new. As for which to attend, our benchmark is: How do they treat the locals? Here, artMRKT comes out ahead, with more than 20 local galleries represented. Not that the Fine Art Fair isnt right up there, with nearly 15 shops getting slots. True, we like the lineup at artMRKT a bit more it has more of the venues, such as Guerrero Gallery and Catharine Clark Gallery, where we most often find ourselves looking at art, and it would be fun to look at their art under the banner of a big, fancy international art fair. Not that we dont find ourselves in plenty of the galleries appearing at SFFAF, like Fifty24SF and Hang Art. Were there all the time! If you can afford to go to both, go to both.
May 20-22, 2011