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
At todays live art contest, one noted cinematographer, two noted artists, one noted chef, one noted designer, and one noted arts manager are judging the art. They are doing this on the beach, with their feet in the sand, inspecting pieces composed of the very same stuff, because they are judging sandcastles. Sandcastles! Why use judges of this caliber instead of the ones typically adjudicating sand works, i.e., parents and passersby? Because this is San Francisco is a decent answer, and obviously true, but there is more: Architects are involved in Leaps 28th Annual Sandcastle Contest, along with engineers, contractors, and designers. Thank God, there are also hundreds of local school kids participating, otherwise it would just be crazy. Perhaps judges such as artists Sirron Norris and Ian Huebert, or the S.F. Arts Commissions Tyra Fennell, can properly contextualize the giant sand caterpillar (if some team makes one, but how could some team not make one?) within the giant sand caterpillar tradition. Certainly judge Grant Washburn knows about sand and its castles, as a Mavericks surfer, filmmaker, and father. And judge Elizabeth Faulkner, as owner of Citizen Cake, knows about cake. Those kids would love cake after a hard day at the beach, Elizabeth.
Sat., Oct. 8, 10 a.m., 2011