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Friday, July 15, 2016

Silicon Valley's Matt Ross finds balance in Captain Fantastic, Hollywood and Life

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Captain Fantastic, starring Viggo Mortensen, opens in San Francisco on July 15. - CATHY KANAVY
  • Cathy Kanavy
  • Captain Fantastic, starring Viggo Mortensen, opens in San Francisco on July 15.

In Captain Fantastic, Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) has a crisis of confidence about his parenting style.  The offbeat patriarch, once so gung-ho about raising his brood off the grid, far from the consumerism and technology that he was force-fed, begins to rethink his extreme child rearing. 

The film's writer-director Matt Ross (28 Hotel Rooms), also known for playing Gavin Belson on HBO's Silicon Valley, experienced something similar when, after being reared by a single mom on several NorCal communes, chose to raise his two kids in a more comfortable two-parent household, in Berkeley. The real trick for the Berkeleyite was in finding a balance or maintaining his core values within his new lifestyle. 

SF Weekly spoke to Matt Ross about getting the balance right as a Hollywood actor-director, parent and iPhone addict.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center Sounds Like a Stock Exchange. But It's a Cultural Space.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 1, 2015 at 11:00 AM

  • Courtesy the artist and bitforms gallery
  • Mesocosm (Wink, Texas)

There is a new venue for creative types, and it's in an unlikely place.

The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, on the corner of Howard and First streets — in the one area of town where people routinely wear pantsuits and ties — is collaborating with the Brooklyn nonprofit art and technology center Eyebeam to launch its new gallery space. Inaugurating their year-long partnership is an exhibit this Thursday, Dec. 5, showcasing multimedia artwork from former Eyebeam Resident Marina Zurkow, whose past work includes things like a five-course dinner highlighting invasive species (Not an Artichoke, Nor From Jerusalem) and a temporary "convention center" in the Guadalupe River in downtown San Jose (Paradoxical Sleep).

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

NEAT: Art and Tech Converge at Contemporary Jewish Museum

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 12:30 PM

Dunne & Dar's NAAG XY (2015) uses light, foam and plaster to create the illusion of a living organism. - GABRIEL L. DUNNE, VISHAL K. DAR
  • Gabriel L. Dunne, Vishal K. Dar
  • Dunne & Dar's NAAG XY (2015) uses light, foam and plaster to create the illusion of a living organism.

In NEAT: New Experiments in Art and Technologya new show now underway at Contemporary Jewish Museum, nine artists and artistic teams display works in which they combine their artistic vision with current technology. The effects are often hypnotic.

When you enter the exhibit on the museum's second floor, your eyes will no doubt be drawn to Paolo Salvagione's bizarre, surreal Rope Fountain. Using a blank white screen, two small motors and what appear to be standard clothesline rope, the artist creates the illusion of water running through a fountain. Small wheels inside the motors spin continuously, pulling on the two pieces of rope, forcing them to twirl endlessly around in an upright position. It's the motor speed that keeps the rope elevated, which suggests the illusion of flowing water.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

S.F. Artist Works With Tech Boom To Keep Alternative Art Scene Afloat

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 4:00 PM

The inside of one of the rooms at Gazelle Palace - CAROLINE AUGUSTA
  • Caroline Augusta
  • The inside of one of the rooms at Gazelle Palace

Many longtime San Francisco residents are fighting against the tech boom, struggling to stay in the city despite the exorbitant price of rent. One resident, however, decided to embrace it instead. 

Caroline Augusta has been using Airbnb, one of the most controversial startup-turned-tech giants, to rent out her home, which also doubles as an art studio and gallery, in order to meet and collaborate with other artists from all over the world. An artist herself, Augusta mostly makes collages but works with "any medium I can get my hands on," she said.

Her "Gazelle Palace," in the Outer Sunset, is named for the first piece of artwork (a gazelle sculpture) that was ever in the house, and she's hosted 10 different guests from all over the world since first renting it out in early August.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Bill and Giuliana Rancic Talk San Francisco Fashion

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Models showcase garments made by the Project Runway designers using items from Macy's prop room. - SIMPLE2C PHOTO
  • Simple2C Photo
  • Models showcase garments made by the Project Runway designers using items from Macy's prop room.

One of America's favorite couples was in San Francisco for two events that brought to the forefront the topics of fashion and small business in the City. Bill Rancic, winner of the first season of The Apprentice, real estate developer, restaurateur, and speaker to small businesses, and Giuliana Rancic, entertainment journalist, fashion expert, TV personality, fashion designer, and entrepreneur, know both realms quite well, and shared their views on what San Francisco brands can do to become major players nationally.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What's Not to Like?: Facebook Announces a New Button

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 11:30 AM


Although Instagram suddenly has about ten times the sponsored posts it did a month ago, and Twitter’s going to let you buy things, the real news from the social media world has been Facebook’s announcement that it’s finally working on a dislike button, or its equivalent. The Head Replicant In Charge delivered the news as if he were Prometheus unveiling the impending disruption of cold with fire.

“What [people] really want is the ability to express empathy,” Mark Zuckerberg said.

It’s almost as odd as his New Year’s resolution about “shifting more of my media diet towards reading books.” (Just try and read that out loud in a non-robot monotone.) I’ve never been more convinced that Zuckerberg’s ambition to comprehend human emotion will eventually acquire a weird mysticism the way an aging J.P. Morgan’s obsession with immortality takes on Ancient Egyptian overtones in E. L. Doctorow’s Ragtime.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Chat Live With Cuban (or Afghanis, or Iranians) in Shared Studios' Portal at Proxy SF

Posted By on Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 1:00 PM

The portal at Yale University - SHARED STUDIOS
  • Shared Studios
  • The portal at Yale University

No matter how accustomed we’ve become to living our entire lives on the internet, the fascination with speaking to another person across the world never wears off. (Unless you had some deep psychological scars from Chatroulette, that is.)

Shared_Studios has set up a “portal” at Hayes Valley’s Proxy for speaking to people in Honduras, Afghanistan, Cuba, Mexico, or Iran. (It sounds like an inter-dimensional gate until you remember that once upon a time, companies like Yahoo and Excite were referred to as “web portals.”) You book a 20-minute segment, and the organizers are gunning hard for academic and musical exchanges. A gold-painted shipping container lined with industrial carpeting, Shared_Studios’ portal is a spartan set: a desk and chair, and a microphone for speaking to your interlocutor in real time. You’re face to face in the dark, mediated only by the screen, and no matter how blasé you might be about telecommunications generally, the portal’s intimacy is striking.

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Alexandra Pelosi's HBO Documentary San Francisco 2.0 Neglects Tech

Posted By on Fri, Sep 4, 2015 at 3:00 PM

  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Cranes in SOMA

Alexandra Pelosi’s ninth HBO documentary, San Francisco 2.0, premiered at the Kabuki last evening. It was, as such events go, pretty heavy with politicos: the director’s mother (Rep. Nancy Pelosi) was there, as were fellow Bay Area Democrats Rep. Anna Eshoo and former 20-term Rep. George Miller, along with Supervisor Malia Cohen and former Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

With all those heavy-hitters, and the access that comes with having them in your life — the 40-minute film includes interviews with Mayor Ed Lee, Gov. Jerry Brown at his most gnomic, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and former mayors Art Agnos and Willie Brown — it’s too bad that San Francisco 2.0 is so light on substance. Pretty much anyone with a passing familiarity of what’s going on in the Bay Area right now will already know virtually everything Pelosi talks about — although it was surprising to hear Newsom speak with such vehemence about how tech needs to step up.

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Tinder Partners With Forbes to Create Exclusive Business Networking App

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 11:00 AM

click image Tinder Co-Founder and VP of Product Jonathan Badeen, Tinder Co-founder and President Sean Rad, Forbes’ Head of Mobile Products Salah Zalatimo and Forbes magazine Editor Randall Lane at the Forbes Under 30 app launch party on August 5.
  • Tinder Co-Founder and VP of Product Jonathan Badeen, Tinder Co-founder and President Sean Rad, Forbes’ Head of Mobile Products Salah Zalatimo and Forbes magazine Editor Randall Lane at the Forbes Under 30 app launch party on August 5.

Tinder: It's not just for dating anymore.

For the first time since Tinder introduced the concept of "swiping" into the dating world in 2012, it has collaborated with another company, on its first non-dating related project: a business networking app.

On Aug. 5, Forbes announced the launch of an app exclusively for the 2,000 people whose names have been featured on any of the annual Forbes "30 Under 30" lists since the first list was published in 2011.

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Apple Opening S.F. Office Mostly to Taunt Us

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 11:05 AM

  • FooTToo/Shutterstock

SAN FRANCISCO – Apple Inc.’s senior leadership announced this week that they are leasing a 76,000 square foot in San Francisco in order to troll the city.

“When the Dark Room closed, we saw a real opportunity to rub it in,” said Derek Thompson, Apple’s Senior Vice President for Lulz. “I’m not saying there’s ‘no’ business case for Apple to finally look for a San Francisco office during a period of rampant real estate speculation and the loss of cherished cultural institutions, but that’s definitely the fun part.”

Apple’s new SoMa presence is estimated to run approximately $66 per square foot, prices so ridiculous that even if it weren’t a joke would sound like one.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    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.'"