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
Ballast, Lance Hammers remarkable, unfailingly intelligent debut film rooted in the Mississippi Deltas vanishing way of life, tells of the fall-out from one mans suicide on three people. Ballasts opening alternates between James (JimMyron Ross), a 12-year-old African-American boy roaming the vast flatscape, and Lawrence (Michael J. Smith Sr.), a big, stony-faced man sitting in his small, dark house, frozen with grief. James is alone and in trouble: He makes drug runs for a group of older teens to support his burgeoning coke habit and is fascinated with guns. His loving mother, Marlee (Tarra Riggs), slaves in a night-time cleaning job and is too anxious and exhausted to see the clues. James owes the gang money, and soon mother and son take refuge with Lawrence, whom Marlee hates with an old and bitter passion. The conflicts, truths, and, ultimately, grace and dignity that bind these three together are brought to authentic life, without Hollywood-style exaggeration, through the quiet little miracles of performance that Hammer coaxes from his non-actors. And the directors artful jump cuts between scenes, as well as the films abrupt ending, create just enough tension to draw you in, but leave just enough mystery to let you create your own understanding of whats happening between these three, and to form your own insights into the psyches of people trying to survive with their souls intact.
Fri., Oct. 17, 7:20 p.m., 2008
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.'"