Come Out & Play SF Festival and Exhibition

What: Come Out & Play SF Festival and Exhibition

Where: 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th) and in the surrounding neighborhood

Exhibition Dates & Hours: November 17–December 19, 2012. Gallery hours: Tues.–Fri. 12–7pm, Sat. 12–5pm.

Accompanying Events: Opening Night Party on November 17, 6–9pm. Festival weekend December 1 & 2, 12pm–5pm.

How Much: Free admission

What else: Skip the lines by pre-registering for the Opening Night Party and for Festival Weekend on EventBrite!

The Come Out & Play SF Festival, a forum for new types of public games and play, expands in 2012 to include a month-long games exhibition in SOMArts Cultural Center’s Main Gallery, November 17–December 19, 2012. From alternative sports, board games and puzzles to iPad apps, laser mazes and proximity sensors, Come Out & Play SF Festival and Exhibition harnesses the ingenuity of game designers to engage San Francisco’s communities in creative play and to transcend preconceptions around human interaction and public space.

Eventbrite - Opening Night Party: Come Out & Play SF Festival and Exhibition

Eventbrite - Festival Weekend for Come Out & Play SF

In addition to an opening night party with artist facilitated games, Saturday, November 17, 6pm–9pm, Come Out & Play SF also includes the annual festival weekend of games for all ages, Saturday and Sunday, December 1 & 2, 12pm–5pm. Festival weekend games are hosted in the gallery at SOMArts and in public spaces and recreation areas, such as the Gene Friend Recreation Center, located at the intersection of Sherman and Folsom Streets, and in the surrounding South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood.

“Come Out & Play SF is all about transforming spaces through play, and we’re excited to take that ethos into SOMArts’ gallery. Galleries, like our streets, have certain implied rules— don’t touch this, don’t run and jump–and we feel our role as game designers is to change those rules to invite playful exploration of our social and physical environment.” –Come Out & Play co-founder Catherine Herdlick

All games are free and are played on a rotational first-come, first served basis, but participants may register at to advance more quickly through the lines during the opening night party and festival weekend. Detailed game descriptions can be found

The chase game organized by Ian Kizu-Blair, Jackie Hasa, Sam Lavigne and Sean Mahan that takes players on a cinematic journey through the city at night will once again serve as a preview event. Details about “Journey to the End of the Night” on Saturday, November 10 are available at

Visitors during regular gallery hours outside of the opening night party and festival weekend will discover multiple interactive, self-facilitated and social experiences, such as a lounge of unusual board games curated by the group Come Out & Play.

Among other games, the opening night party, Saturday, November 17, 6–9pm, features “Shadoni” by Finn Kelly, an improvisational experience in which players interact with a live band to create new songs.  “Hearst Collection” by Gabe Smedresman and John Teasdale is an in-gallery art heist game played in a laser maze.

In “WANTED!” by The Cowgirl Way Society, players participate in a mobile text messaging based wild west drama focused in SoMa. Telling the tales of real-life cowgirls, this game uses American mythology to explore issues around gender and cultural displacement. A fiction-based puzzle hunt, “Black Bart’s Hidden Hoard” by Ryan and Christopher Idryo, takes place during opening day, and ends that evening at the opening night party. Players solve puzzles hidden throughout SoMa and learn about historic locations and figures.

Festival weekend, Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2, 12pm–5pm, features designer-facilitated multi-player games that pose both mental and physical challenges. In “ThirdPerson OuterBody Labyrinth” by OuterBody Experience Lab players race through a physical labyrinth while wearing video goggles which project the player’s own image from a disembodied perspective.

“Propinquity,” by Lynn Hughes, Bart Simon and the Modern Nomads, uses proximity sensors and vibrotactile feedback mapping to score the choreography of bodies in relation to each other. The Muslim call to prayer inspires a city-wide game of silent freeze tag called “The Hush” by Playrites Collective. Three-player teams anonymously connected by mobile text messaging rove the city, intermittently called to silent meditation.

The physical field game “Humans vs. Mosquitos,” by Sophia Colantonio, Mohini Dutta, Clay Ewing, Lauren Graham, Eulani Labay, Vanessa Lamers, Ben Norskov, Kanchan Shrestha and Lien Tran, was created in collaboration with the American Red Cross to raise awareness around malaria issues.

Come Out & Play SF Festival and Exhibition, created in part by Catherine Herdlick and collaborators from the group Come Out & Play, is one of four exhibition proposals selected to receive a 2012–13 Commons Curatorial Residency at SOMArts. Selected artists and curators receive curatorial stipends and a support package valued at over $20,000, as well as access to one of the largest and most beautiful gallery spaces in the heart of the city to expand their practice, engage the Bay Area’s cultural communities and turn vision into reality.

This year’s Come Out & Play SF Festival and Exhibition is part of the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial. Through curated exhibitions, public art installations, performances, and speaker events, the ZERO1 Biennial presents work by a global community of innovative artists who are reshaping contemporary culture. Visit for Biennial public programming  through December 8th.

SOMArts receives critical support form the Community Arts and Education Program of the San Francisco Art Commission, The San Francisco Foundation and individual donors.

SOMArts and Come Out & Play would also like to thank  San Francisco Recreation & Parks for participating as a community partner for the Come Out & Play SF Festival and Exhibition and for allowing the Gene Friend Recreation Center to become an off-site location for festival games.