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 1791 Jeremy Bentham published plans for what he called the Panopticon. Meant to be applied to prison design, it has rooms arranged in a circle around a central control booth. Bentham reasoned that if inmates knew they were being watched at all times, they would be more likely to follow the rules. A similar philosophy fuels the contemporary proliferation of security cameras. Theyre meant to stop crime, but some argue theyre an unacceptable infringement on our right to be left alone. The group art show Keeping an Eye on Surveillance tackles these issues, particularly whether security measures really do make us more secure. Artists Rodney Ewing, Taraneh Hemami, and Enrique Chagoya have long infused their work with cultural politics, and multimedia mastermind Jim Campbell uses LED and other technologies to depict shadowy figures who may or may not know theyre being tracked by a camera. Farley Gwazda contributes a sound installation called its going to take us forever to get home. Michael Zheng and Nigel Poor do performance pieces. After seeing this exhibit, everyday software like Google Street View might not look the same.
Sept. 10-Oct. 22, 2011