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
Filming the most ambitious superhero comic book ever written, director Zack Snyder has managed to address the cult while pandering to the masses. The master of the vid-game aesthetic has successfully streamlined Alan Moores 12-part graphic novel and, even at a running time that tops two hours and forty minutes, made it commercially viable. In its movie incarnation, Watchmen (which first appeared early in Ronald Reagans second term) could be most simply described as an apocalyptic sci-fi murder mystery cum love story set in an alternate universe where masked superheroes are real, albeit largely retired, thanks to Richard Nixon, who is enjoying his fifth term as presidentin part because the greatest of the Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan, a mutated atomic scientist who glows like blue kryptonite and possesses unlimited cosmic powers, settled the Vietnam war in a week. Watchmen doesnt lack for self-confidence or even entertainment value. Its failure is one of imagination. Snyders movie is too literal and too linear. Social satire is pummeled into submission by the amplified pow-kick-thud of the sub Matrix action sequences; even character is ultimately eclipsed by the presumed need for violent spectacle. The philosopher Iain Thomson maintained that Moore not only deconstructed the idea of comic book super-heroism but pulverized the very notion of the heroand the hero-worship that comics traditionally sell. For all its superficial fidelity, Snyders movie stands Moores novel on its head, trying to reconstruct a conventional blockbuster out of those empty capes and scattered shards.
June 15-16, 8 p.m.; Wed., June 17, 2 & 8 p.m., 2009
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.'"