Again at the library.  But I won’t spend the little bit of time I have to complain about hard drive breakdowns in computer.  There is a strange sense of space in my home to not be chained to my laptop, and also frustration as to not being able to work at home, to follow my thoughts, to get lost.

I went to a panel discussion last Saturday at BAC, sponsored by Danspace Project.  The panelists  were the artists curated by Ralph Lemon in hisi get lost series.  Each artists had some time to talk about their work and how they get lost in their work.

I found (no pun intended, or maybe, yes…) myself wanting to get lost more in the discussion.  I heard a lot of explanations about the state of  being lost, but it seemed to me that most people were more relieved to have found something already from getting lost in their work or in their words that afternoon.

I was struck by a question the moderator (whose name I have not been able to find on line) asked one of the panelist: “What is the role of getting lost for you?”

I was intrigued by the word role.  I did ask a question about the use of that word when the panel discussion was opened up to the audience, a circle of artists, dancers, producers, managers.  (At times it did feel a bit like a business meeting).  I pondered the idea of the dramatic sense of the word role, taking on the character of someone in a play or film, etc.  The moderator explained to me that she used role to mean function, a tool.  Someone else in the audience turned to me and explained it was”a responsibility.”  Hmmm…   The responsibility of getting lost.  The subject was dropped right away.  I guess no one wanted to get lost in wandering through something that had piqued me, and we were running out of time just like I am at this computer.  And I don’t want to feel that all has to be neatly placed on this page or at a panel discussion.

I left afterwards continuing to think about the word role.  I happened to have a dictionary with me, not unusual as I love reading the dictionary – not so much to cement meaning down but to continue to unfold meaning again and again, a word inside a definition of another word to look into another definition and there another word, continue lather repeat rinse etc…

5 minutes K.J.

O.k.  This is where I am right now about role. That it is defined as a function, and I see how getting lost is a tool for artists to find something they didn’t expect.   And I also do see getting lost as an entity, a ROLE, to enter into and live inside of, not just to find something to solidify and say EUREKA to, but to also inhabit, embody and to be in.  This is a big part of improvising.

More later, gotta go…


  • K.J. Holmes
    6:57 pm
    July 2, 2010

    Dear Katherine,
    It is July 2nd. I am in Ticino Switzerland, a bit lost after a horrendous experience with Delta airlines, another story. But I am here, it is a fairy tale and I was about to try to sleep with jet lag, on lining for a bit first, when I discovered your reply to my blog from January.

    Why does it take so long to find a response to getting lost?

    I so appreciate the time you took to continue the panel discussion with me.
    I love that I just found your response, 5 months later. The stars are always in the sky, behind the summer haze of night in the mountains.

    I will return to write more in a more awake fashion, that being my fashion of choice, awake.

    Very many good wishes,

  • Katherine Profeta
    11:18 am
    February 2, 2010

    Hi K.J. —

    I hope you get this even though the site says you are no longer blogging…

    This is Katherine Profeta, and I was the moderator for the i get lost discussion. I was very happy to find this post, and the opportunity to mull further on your question …to deepen my thought in a way that can’t always happen in the moment.

    In the moment I answered your question as straightforwardly as I could, saying no, I honestly hadn’t thought of the word “role” as a character and rather meant it as “function,” etc. etc… And you’re right that I was worried about managing time by that point in the evening (I had two people making discrete little hand signals to me to wrap things up), so I didn’t feel so free to get lost in your question. But I agree that words have layers of associations and something that I didn’t mean consciously can still have an interesting presence in what I said.

    I’m thinking now, after reading what you wrote, that the word “role,” while still providing a verbal container for the lost-ness like all the other containers that were offered, is a different sort of container that may preserve the unpredictability and the ability to wander, un-found… the same way you can never completely know another person even though you grow up with them or live with them or what have you…

    In any case even though I was making the point at the panel that the goal is not getting lost in itself, but getting lost to some end (in the work with Ralph lately that end is “to find grace”), I completely appreciate that the ideal is not to close things off as soon as the lostness happens… not trying to “find something to solidify and say EUREKA to” as you put it nicely above. I too wish the discussion could have gone further in that direction, towards the experience of truly inhabiting the lostness…

    Also, to better answer your original question — I probably formulated my inquiry that way to Maria Hassabi in particular because she was the wild card there, in terms of the “lostness” in her work, and I honestly didn’t know how she would describe her relation to it… We had two people whose statements were essentially that they were trying to find a interplay between structure and freedom (David Z and Judith S-R), two people who essentially said they were in fact lost in real life and used the stage to get found (Solo B and Robert S), and Maria was the unknown factor, to me at least. Even though I had previously read her statements for the catalog, she was a bit of a mystery.

    Anyhow, thanks again for your question and for your willingness to continue mulling it in (semi-)public, which for me is quite helpful…

    all best,

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