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
If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sheer cuteness of the holiday season, if you feel you might explode if you see one more adorable snowman or peace dove, seek the poisonous antidote at the art show "Vampira." A sort of nightmare after Christmas, the little exhibit features two artists who go by single names: French and Diva. (Ironically, French is English and Diva is French.) Both create monsters: French's drawings of goat-horned demons, entwined knights, and eerie animal hybrids spring from some dark medieval apocalypse, while the creatures that grace Diva's lace-covered canvases appear to be torn from a lost Renaissance tapestry. In past shows, Diva has hung the gallery with shredded lace, a stylish cobweb that would nicely complement French's spidery line drawings. Whether or not this show includes that extra touch, it'll certainly spook the sainted reindeer out of the holidays and, as a bonus, if Santa didn't happen to bring you all the goodies you were expecting, the gallery is located in a Japanese toy store.
Jan. 1-Feb. 1, 2009