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 "very nearly solo show" Shark Bites gets its name from writer and actor Jeffrey Hartgraves' irrational childhood fear of sharks. That he lived in Phoenix reassured him not at all, and isn't that how fear usually goes? Hartgraves' autobiographical play tells the story of his diagnosis with a nasty cancer, complete with complications like crushed vertebrae and lost jobs, but he credits the fear his sickness created with powerful motivation to make art. Some people have the gift to be funny about their own illnesses: If we're smart, we latch onto them and listen in for dear life. Hartgraves is definitely one of them, as he proved in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter: "It starts out about fear in general, and then we give you specific information about my life. It ends up with my explaining the meaning of life. All for $16. In 75 minutes. And drinks will be served."
Jan. 17-Feb. 9, 8 p.m., 2008