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 Biblical proverb that a prophet is without honor in his own home goes a ways toward explaining why the young saxophonist Albert Ayler split for Sweden in the early 1960s. Stockholm was a whole lot freer than Ayler's native Cleveland, yet audiences proved to be only slightly more accepting of his dissonant, full-throttle style of play. An early proponent of free jazz, Ayler rejected melody and tempo in favor of feel. He was uncompromising, like so many pioneers, to the point of destruction. Swedish director Kasper Collin's invaluable and elegiac documentary, My Name is Albert Ayler, suggests that the path-breaking sax man found his voice in the Land of the Midnight Sun, but could only make his mark in the Big Apple. Ayler bonded with Coltrane in New York (ultimately playing at his funeral), made records that divided critics and jazz fans, and in 1970 mysteriously drowned himself in the East River at age 34. Collin, who will be present at all screenings, has crafted an inspiring, heartrending, and mysterious saga of artistic integrity and familial loyalty. Above all, it is the quintessential portrait of an artist who was ahead of his time -- and knew it.
Sun., March 23, 2, 4, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m., 2008