HCId, Music, Travel

Three San Francisco experiences to have in the dark

Close your eyes, there’s so much more to see. Here are three spots in SF caught in your blindspot that you won’t want to miss. Oscillations

1. Oscillations – sound and lightscape
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in the Room for Big Ideas, Th-Sa, 3 minutes, Free

Dip into the the YBCA for an immersive and sensual experience. The installation space, curtained off for one person, made with wood, electric fans, lights, speakers and custom technology takes you through a 3-minute intense 360 light and sound experience. I attended the live performance of the scape but actually much prefer the solitary experience off the YBCA lobby and have been three times with many more to come. The installation will be on display until 13 January 2013, so it’s not to be missed. Read more about artists Surabhi Saraf & Sebastian Alvarez’s but wait to watch the video until you’ve felt the warm heat on your face and cool fans on your arms, yourself. You have one more month to enjoy this city’s gem.

Audium 2. Audium – Sound theater
1616 Bush Street San Francisco, CA 94109, Fri, Sa at 8:30, 1 hour, $20

Enter this sound-sculpture space created in 1975 and seems to have barely changed since for a truly unique experience. Artist Stan Shaff hosts an hour-long expression of live and recorded audio pieces for those seeking something truly experimental to hear ranging from obtusely abstract to comfortably familiar sounds. It’s rumored that the 40-year old theater will be shutting down and the shows change from month-to-month, so there’s no better time than now.


Moon Dipperton3. Float Matrix – Sensory Depravation
Nob Hill Wellness Building, 815 Hyde St. Lower Level, Mo-Su by appointment, 1hr, $75+

Lay your mind and body down in a shallow pool of water and 1,000 pounds of salt. With earplugs in, the lights off and the scentless water the temperature of your body, this is as close to feeling nothing as you’ll ever get. Your mind, relieved of all the sensory input processing takes many into deep relaxation or significantly emotional and creative places. I’ve experienced all three and have been twice. The owner has changed into good hands since I’ve last attended but this has been one of the best and most rewarding San Francisco experiences I’ve had. I cannot recommend this enough. In simpler terms, it’s the best tool for meditation, focus on the present and self-awareness.

Nina Mehta is a writer and product design leader in Brooklyn, New York. She began her design career in journalism and has been writing online for 20+ years. Nina is from outside Chicago and has since lived and worked in San Francisco, Berlin, London, and Tokyo. Learn about Nina at ninamehta.com.

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