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
For someone who lives in the downtown corridor — all right, the Tenderloin — the idea of going to Ocean Beach for pizza is rife with potential pratfalls: high Uber fares, lengthy Muni trips, ever-present fog, jet lag.
The clearest way to describe Fred Curchak's take on the life of Gauguin is to call it an interpretive dance, with flashlights, performed in front of a slide show of Gauguin's paintings while a voice-over gives us the artist's biography in journal entries and letters. That's not quite accurate -- Curchak talks back to the voice-over, and recites long passages live; he also resorts to shadow puppetry behind the screen, as well as a wayang-style marionette to represent native Tahitians. But you get the idea. Curchak worked on the experimental fringes of San Francisco theater in the 1970s and '80s and now holds a professorship in art and performance at the University of Texas at Dallas. He's well known for his avant-garde work, and the Gauguin story itself is rich with contradiction for any artist who might feel tempted to throw off the bourgeois lifestyle and move to a remote island paradise like Tahiti. But Curchak's show is bunk. His movement is forced, his gestures are literal, and the red and blue flashlights evoke nothing so much as a cop cruiser. The problem isn't that the show resembles a cliché of the avant-garde: It's that all of Curchak's feverish innovations seem imposed on his material, not discovered by it.
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.'"