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
An inconspicuous doorway off Valencia Street leads to a treasure trove of zines and 10,000-plus hours of sound and video recordings from the 1960s to the 1990s, all charting the progressive history of the Bay and its effect on global radical movements.
Mel Ramos makes the kind of paintings you're embarrassed to encounter while strolling through SFMOMA with your family. Currently one of the elder statesmen of California art, his technical chops and his ability to represent the human figure cannot be contested. It's just that penchant of his for painting voluptuous naked women that makes things a little awkward with the fam. Ramos' art transcends mere cheesecake, however, thanks to the cheeky juxtapositions he creates with commercial products. In his show "New Paintings" the suite of recent work includes an image of a leggy blonde reclining atop an oversized box of Red Hots, and in another painting a topless woman enthusiastically bursts out of the wrapper of a Bit-O-Honey candy bar. The implied commentary about American consumerist culture pairs well with Elena Dorfman's "Empire Falling" series, large-scale photographs of rock quarries in the Midwest. Dorfman is interested in what these sites reveal about our attitude toward the earth, that we frequently mine its resources until there is nothing left except a hole in the ground. She often manipulates her images, layering photos on top of each other until the resulting landscape is deliberately surreal. Ramos and Dorfman come at the topic from different angles, but each artist has something witty to say about where we're at as a society.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Jan. 17. Continues through March 2, 2013
Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'.
Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"