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 case you've been TaskRabbiting your way through life and haven't had the chance to leave the micro-loft to stroll the alleys and streets of central San Francisco, the number of homeless tent encampments in town is approaching epic levels — as in Hooverville and Great Depression levels.
"Religion undoubtedly surpasses every other human activity in sheer quantity and variety of bullshit," Ken Knabb wrote in 1978. It's Knabb's own lack of, er, bunk that's helped him rally would-be radicals around his area of expertise, a Paris-born, Marx-bred group of avant-gardists called the Situationist International. Tonight is your chance to catch up. The SI sought nothing less than the revolution of everyday life through little more than a series of public pranks. It was all very 1960s, sure. Yet its methods would later inspire punk rock as well as "culture jamming" (a practice explaining such curious facts of 21st-century life as flash mobs, rickrolls, and whatever it is Banksy does). By the time Knabb wrote his widely anthologized essay on religion, the SI was several years dead. Since then, he has established himself as the most prominent American embalmer of the movement. His translations (Situationists International Anthology, 1980) as well as his own writings (Public Secrets: The Collected Skirmishes of Ken Knabb, 1998) are standard texts for readers looking to parse the SI's often cryptic prose. Waking Life director Richard Linklater reads Knabb, and cultural critic Greil Marcus cites him. Even one of the author's fierce detractors stingily concedes, "Anyone who cannot read French and is now interested in the Situationist International owes Ken Knabb some kind of debt."
Tue., Jan. 25, 7 p.m., 2011