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
Consider the elevator. Colson Whitehead did in his first novel, The Intuitionist, in which "the lift" occupies the center of a secret society. Certain elevators have minds of their own in the same way that cars have psychosomatic problems that disappear without repair and special ways of working that everyday people cant (and shouldnt) know. The title refers to a type of inspector who follows gut feelings and metaphysical feedback rather than math and engineering. The lead character is an intuitionist whos also the first black female elevator inspector in an unnamed metropolis and on the day she okays the system in a brand-new and much-celebrated high-rise, an elevator goes into a deadly free-fall. Whitehead vividly details a network of bureaucrats, politicians, engineers, and union bosses involved in shadowy intrigue that reads like it came from painstaking research of an obscure history. Throughout his career Whitehead has created such parallel worlds to explore history, race, politics, and mythology. The novel John Henry Days is set in such a world, in which a journalist fights to keep his soul after volunteering to run a public-relations gauntlet. The author has collected essays about his hometown in The Colossus of New York in addition to contributing to the New York Times, Harpers, and the New Yorker. Not that we needed any more convincing, but in a review of John Henry Days John Updike wrote that the novel does what writing should do; it refreshes our sense of the world. Even if the authors world is wholly his own invention.
Tue., Oct. 25, 8 p.m., 2011
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.'"