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
We have a soft spot for artists who obsessively collect we like our artists slightly mad. To us, the heroine of this movement, or perhaps affliction, is Sophie Calle. In her landmark "Birthday Ceremony," she exhibited birthday gifts she had received for 13 years. They had never been used, played with, read, worn, or listened to, just preserved in boxes and displayed in glass cases. Right behind her, however, is artist Song Dong, but most of the credit actually goes to his mother. She collected a lot of stuff, or rather, she never got rid of any stuff. Like toothpaste tubes, buttons, jars, blankets, clothes, cans, toys. For more than 50 years in a tiny house in Beijing, she kept everything. The act adhered to the Cultural Revolution adage "waste not," but there was also grief from her husband's death, and maybe a little of the beautiful madness. In 2005, her son helped her finally release her past by presenting it whole as art. In "Dad and Mom, Don't Worry About Us, We Are All Well," all 10,000 or so items of Zhao Xiangyuan's life, and even a section of the house, have been neatly stacked, folded, and arranged in a sprawling, devastating exhibit, which allows visitors to move among the piles. With 50 years of Chinese life and proof of one family's existence laid out around you, it's a walk you won't soon forget.
Thursdays-Sundays; First Tuesday of every month. Starts: Feb. 25. Continues through June 7, 2011