February 1996


Through 3/3 - Yerba Buena Center for the Arts - Multimedia Installation/ Be Now Here Michael Naimark
's engaging insatllation captures landscapes and open public space at four points around the globe, and recreates them as immersive virtual environments. 701 Mission St. (415.978-2787)

A large revolving platform turned as visitors in polarized 3-D glasses selected from 5 different videos shot at 5 different locations on the planet; Dubrovnik, Angor in Cambodia, Timbuktu, and Jerusalem, and Yerba Buena Gardens. The video for each place displayed a 360 ° turn which moved clockwise to the movement of the rotating table. An accompanying soundtrack from each location added a great deal to the experience. The effect was suspenseful, fun, and a neat leap forward for Naimark's ongoing exploration of immersive environments.

Through 3/3 - The Exploratorium - Multimedia Installation / The 39 Steps
The 39 Steps experiments with the nonlinear potential of new media by allowing visitors to find and link connections between hundreds of stories told by everyday people. Artist-in-Residence John Sanborn created this piece with playwright Ellen Sebastian and video artist Leda Maliga. 601 Lyon St. (415.561-0360)

The visitor enters a room, sits on a couch or some chairs, and watches as one of many storytellers on a television monitor relates their particular tale. The storyteller's image occupies somewhere about half the screen, The rest of the display is arranged with buttons that alternately show iconic images or faces. A touchscreen embedded in a coffee table in front of the couch allows visitors to select one of the icons, and by so doing switch narrators. The intent here is to create a free-flowinmg associational database of stories, tracking connections based on similar themes; death, travel, love, etc. Currently, these connections were anything but obvious. In addition, considering that only one person at a time could control the screen, the stories, though well-told, seemed overly long. Look for it again in a more evolved form.


2/23/ - Anon Salon - Zyber Zydeco
Live Cajun Band, Live Web site. March Anon to be announced soon.

2/28 - The Exploratorium - John Sanborn (7:30 pm)

Media Artist-in-Residence John Sanborn has created video art, music videos, CD-ROMs, television happenings, and high-definition television. He introduces past and recent works, including the new Exploratorium installation The 39 Steps. 601 Lyon Street, San Francisco CA 94123 (415.561-0360)

2/29 - Great American Hall - Spanish Fly/ Peter Apfelbaum Sextet (8 pm)
Great Improvisiational Jazz. Spanish Fly is from New York, led by John Lurie's trumpeter and arranger. Multi-instrumenatlist Apfelbaum with a six piece aggreagation.

Fly is way cool. Tuba master, Marcus Rojas lays down the curvy bottom. Slick Dave Tronzo keeps dshifting guitar planes at an amazing pace, while Steven Bernstein works the angles on trumpet and slide trumpet. The effect is sometimes raucous, and at the same time always intimate. Some deep listening going on here. (I must admit a bias for this kind of free-form improvisational playing. Being from Chicago, my early days in theater were spent working with the likes of Henry Threadgill, Steve McCall, and Leo Smith.)

3/2 & 3/3 - Zellerbach Hall - Mummenschanz (3/2 2&8pm - 3/3 3pm)
Illusion, puppetry, physical comedy. Cool stuff if you've never seen it from these
very clever Swiss artists. UC berkeley Campus (510.642-9988)