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
The Violin is that rare work of political art that doesn't skimp on the art. Shot in timeless black-and-white, Francisco Vargas's debut burnishes its neorealist setting with elegant, eloquent imagery and a piquant soundtrack. The film unfolds in the mountains of Mexico, where the army is waging a ruthless war on guerillas and civilians alike. The opening interrogation/torture/rape scene puts us firmly on the side of the rebels, but The Violin (which had its local premiere at the S.F. International Film Festival last spring) is much, much more than a piece of manipulative agitprop. Its iconic central figure, an aged campesino with a maimed hand who nonetheless plays violin beautifully, embodies all the vanishing virtues: dignity, culture, and perseverance. A fable about the fight between the have-nots and the power structure -- or, to put it more nakedly, civilization and brutality -- The Violin evokes Bicycle Thieves and The Battle of Algiers, as well as the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. Closer to home, the dirt on the faces of Vargas' characters mirrors the grime in Dorothea Lange's photographs of Dust Bowl families, while Don Plutarco's violin protests the injustice of it all with a resoluteness Woody Guthrie would have admired. This great film single-handedly revives the reputation of political art.
Jan. 11-17, 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.'"