Even a kid can tell you that there's art to be found in museums. But it takes an eccentric to see a deeper meaning in everyday activities like downing beverages with buddies. Celebrated conceptual artist Tom Marioni has that cockeyed perspective -- and The Act of Drinking Beer With Friends Is the Highest Form of Art is the result.
Originally shown at the Oakland Museum in 1970, Marioni's performance project was created from the detritus of one of the man's parties. Other hosts would have tossed out the empty bottles, crumpled napkins, and cigarette butts, but Marioni saw poetry in the leftovers, and was instead inspired to create art.
Periodically hosted at galleries and museums over the last three decades, Drinking Beer has emerged once more at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Most of the time the piece resembles a small, abandoned cafe, with a bar, a beer-packed fridge, and some empty stools. But each Thursday it comes alive, as Marioni, a guest bartender, and passing strangers sit and tipple together. This week Supervisor Matt Gonzalez is pouring. Take a sip starting at 5 tonight at 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is free-$6; call 978-2787 or visit www.yerbabuenaarts.org.
-- Joyce Slaton
Sound and Vision
Noise at the Exploratorium
Most everyone can hear sound, but do we truly understand what we're hearing? No, this question isn't a variation on Saturday Night Live's "Deep Thoughts," though it's true that you'll need to activate some of your brain's buried skills for the debut of the Exploratorium's "Listen: a sonic series," a six-month survey of audiology.
The series' first event, "Deep Listening With Pauline Oliveros," is an interactive workshop that encourages participants to develop a heightened sense of audio awareness by learning how to concentrate on environmental sounds and silence. Renowned composer, author, and philosopher Oliveros is considered a musical pioneer for her lifelong study of the art of listening -- even John Cage regarded her as an important influence. Tune in starting at 1 p.m. at the Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon (at Marina), S.F. Admission is $10-15; call 561-0308 or visit www.exploratorium.edu.
-- Tim Pratt
What a Rush
Pithy pictures in one short day
Thomas Edison claimed that genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration -- and in the case of the film marathon Cinemasports we're inclined to agree. In just one breathless nine-hour day, participants write, direct, produce, and edit four-minute movies under a looming deadline: Each work must be finished in time for an evening screening. See the results starting at 7 p.m. at Mighty, 119 Utah (at 15th Street), S.F., or if you have an afternoon and some creative juices to spare, take part yourself by meeting at 9:30 a.m. at the statue of Miguel Hidalgo in Dolores Park, Church & 19th streets, S.F. Participation is free, and the screening is $8; call 377-0944 or visit www.cinemasports.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
If you spent months converting your wheels into a rolling sculpture, you'd cherish a chance to commune with your similarly inclined brethren. The ArtCar community gets just such an opportunity at the "Mutant Vehicle Social," a meet-and-greet with how-to presentations, music, and food starting at 6:30 p.m. at S.F. City Car Club, 1598 Custer (at Rankin), S.F. Admission is free; call 970-0648 or visit www.citycarclubsf.com.
-- Joyce Slaton