THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Month: November, 2016

Heather Funk

Heather Funk

 

Date of Interview: November 2, 2016

Name: Heather Funk

Age: 29

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

I dunno, maybe at least once a day, sometimes twice… At least once.

If you were a underwater creature which one would you be?

What do you classify as underwater? Could I be a sea otter? Sea otter. I find that I am cuddly and playful like sea otters and I have a lot of hair on my head so I identify with their double fur layers. I think it would be really great to have armpit pockets, you know they store tools in their armpit pockets? I would love to have something where I could carry a rock around in my armpit. ::Laughs:: It’s so weird but I’ve thought a lot about this before.

What are you passionate about?

That is, I think, something that I’ve been exploring a lot these days because it’s changing… It used to be art. And then it was art and logistics because I have an art and logistics background. I can’t remember a time when creativity wasn’t there. I think since I was a kid, I’ve always loved art and always loved being creative, it was very much encouraged in me so that’s just kid of developed. I think some of it has to do with my zodiac sign, I’m an Aquarius so I’m creative! And stubborn and independent! I think… Creativity, you know, I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t there, when I wasn’t imagining things or like, coming up with new ideas for something. It used to be art related but now it’s kind of changed to being business related, but it’s always been there. But recently I’ve been thinking about how, this is my own personal development I guess… Like, travel has always been something I’ve been really passionate about but, in terms of a career, people talk a lot about passions with a career, and that’s where I’m kind of lost right now and have been thinking about where my passions are going to lead me.

What is your favorite medium?

To work with or to view? Work with, it has to be metal working, something with my hands, like more intense industrial jewelry design, which I haven’t done in a long time. But I think to view… To collect and to purchase it has to be photography. To view in a gallery or in a museum setting, I got to think about that one. It’s kind of like asking what’s your favorite color. You like them all for different reasons, right? I can’t answer that I like them all. Actually that’s a lie, I like installations. Installations have to be my favorite because there’s so much involvement and the viewer is within the piece, right. It’s all about the viewer’s experience.

What are you afraid of for the world?

Oh man… For the world. Maybe the zombie apocalypse. But in all reality, running out of our resources. And how we collectively can come together as a world, as an international community, because I feel that we all have our own thoughts separately, but we need to come together for humanity. With the way things are going now I don’t think it’s possible but you know, communities have been developing over centuries, forever, and so I think the idea of community is growing in terms of numbers now and I don’t think we’re at that point yet but I hope we get there soon. I think it’s possible, just not for a while.

What is something you still struggle with?

Vulnerability. Which is why I’m doing this. Seriously ::laughs::. I read about you guys in a thing by We The People, somebody posted about The Bathtub Project and I was like, “Cool! I like this idea!” And so the idea of being vulnerable, there’s a stigma of weakness involved. But in a lot of ways you’re a lot stronger for being vulnerable and being openly vulnerable. I’ve been coming to terms with that in the last year or two and that’s why… Vulnerability! That’s why I’m doing this.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

Let’s see… Relationships. I think they’re very important and integral to human development and to human happiness. I think if you’re alone, even if you’re isolated, everyone needs some relationship in some compactly. I very much value my platonic relationships, my friendships. That’s something that this last year, I spent a lot of time this last year or two of musing on my relationships with men in a romantic setting, but your friends… They don’t owe you anything. You’re not having sex, most times, with your friends right? So a friendship is the purest form of a relationship in some ways and if you can accept each other for exactly who you are and love each other for who you are in a friendship, that is the highest, purest form of relationship that I think there is out there. At the same time, this other level though, being in a romantic relationship you have the benefit of this other person sticking by your side who wants to be with you and you have that sexual component which is always fun. So… Those are my thoughts on relationships.

Olivia Persons

Olivia Persons

 

Date of Interview: October 25, 2016

Name: Olivia Persons

Age: 21

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Washington, DC

 

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about art, culture and food. Different cultures, worldly cultures, the way that culture influences society. I’m biracial, I’m half Chinese and half black, so my mother growing up was like, really good about teaching me and my sisters about her culture. And I recently have been learning a lot more about Africa and my ancestral roots. Learning about it as an adult, understanding taboos, especially, the huge difference for me being an American and how America is completely different from China and especially in Africa. Specifically in Africa, there are so many third world countries and we don’t get the scope of that here.

Do you think how you were raised affected these passions?

Definitely, my mother always makes really really good delicacies that I can’t replicate for the life of me. Like, dumplings and some really weird shit to be honest. She goes on these little excursions to H Mart and honestly, there are things that I’m scared to try. There are things that look weird, but she swears by them and swears that it’s good. I’ll take her word for it ::laughs::. Like mushrooms, I’m not a big mushroom person, but that’s big in the culture. With art, my father is a film maker, he’s working on a film right now and has been for awhile and I really think that I get that artistic and creative side from him. My father… the way he has decorated our house… it’s so eccentric ::laughs::. I don’t have the best relationship with my father but one thing that I can say I appreciate is his ballsy-ness when it comes to that. There will be times I come home and there’s a new sculpture that looks kind of weird or a new painting that really wakens up the room that it’s in. So I really appreciate his eye for it, his knowledge. He does a lot of research, he never studied art in school or anything but takes it upon himself now.

Do you think that the culture your parents came from influenced how they raised you?

Yes, absolutely. I feel like I’m the black sheep of my family. So it influenced me but in the opposite way. I’m the black sheep because I have really liberal thought processes and my parents are very conservative in their own ways, my sisters as well. My mom, she grew up in a very respectful home and I’m not saying I’m not respectful but she has… certain standards that she sees fit that don’t necessarily agree with the American ideal. Growing up in high school, didn’t go to any parties, curfew, didn’t have one because I didn’t go out. Whereas my father, he is American, grew up in Chicago, he grew up in the 70s around South East Chicago so he’s seen a lot of violent crimes that has affected him in his adulthood. He didn’t really have that heavy of a hand in how we were raised or in parenting at least, but him being an American and a black man growing up in the 70s in the ghetto to rising up from that- I think affected the kind of life he wanted for his daughters. So we, we’ve always been modest and humble in how we lived which allowed us to afford other things. I think, specifically with my father, he didn’t see much value in worldly possessions like shoes or fashion, things like that. So we took trips and ate well, that was more important.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual or otherwise.

Relationships are important as long as they’re healthy ::laughs:: yeah. Um, platonic relationships, I feel are the most important. I feel like I’m a pretty sexual being and I’m able to realize that. Sex is a part of our nature and to ignore that, or to acknowledge that it’s not important in that relationship, that sex isn’t what it’s about is great. It takes away a lot of the stresses and worries and complications that goes into a romantic relationship. I feel like trust is easier in a platonic relationship. Romantic relationships also… what an interesting question ::laughs:: especially now. Wow, if you would have asked me this a month ago, this answer would be completely different but… I think, relationships are important but you also have to find solitude in yourself first, especially before romantic ones.

Emily Reeder and Cal McNamara

Emily Reeder and Cal McNamara

 

Date of Interview: October 24, 2016

Name: Emily Reeder and Cal McNamara

Age: 27 and 25

Pronouns: She/Her and He/Him

Location: Arlington, VA

 

If you were a sea creature which one would you be?

Cal: What’s the biggest whale? That big ass whale, that just opens it’s mouth…
Emily: The blue whale?
C: No… It’s huge…
E: Humpback whale?
C: Maybe… Whatever that biggest one that lives in the ocean because they cover the most distance and like, the ocean is huge so… You kind of need to be able to get around quickly.
E: I don’t really identify with the creatures so much. I have a really good relationship with the ocean and just, as it is… It revitalizes me on it’s own. So I think I’m comfortable with the ocean being itself and me being myself.
C: ::Whispers:: Choose a creature.
E: If I had to choose a creature I would be… I like sea urchins the most. I’m very attracted to their form and I’ve made them in art a few times. I don’t know if I would want to be one, but I like them a lot ::laughs::

What are you passionate about?

Emily: I’m really passionate about making art, making jewelry, teaching. Very… Very very creative. I paint, I sew, I make jewelry, basket weave. Whatever I am able to get my story out in is the media I choose at that time. And so it’s more about getting lost in that moment and breathing for the first time in two or three hours and being like… Woah. I got lost in that and it took me somewhere. And hopefully it will take someone else somewhere. That’s what my passion is.
Cal: My thing is music mainly. I’ve done some collage work before but it’s mainly been recording and writing music and playing guitar since I was 11 so… Then I introduced other instruments into my life so being able to be a one man band… It can be tough, not having the input from other people but I’m able to get lost in the tools that I have. It’s kind of like she said, coming out of that haze of a five hour session, literally forgetting what time even is, not even considering that time has passed to coming out of that and hopefully able to get other people to feel the way that other music has made me feel and what made me want to create in the first place.

Do you think emotion plays a big role for you creatively?

Emily: I know for me, I didn’t really understand art as a creative outlet until I stopped taking medication for ADHD, when I was 13 or 14. I used to want to be an engineer and I joke a lot that I am an engineer, it’s a joke around the house a lot. But when I stopped taking those prescription drugs I kind of realize that the sky was blue and that there are colors in the world and there were ways to do things… It was something that was kind of closed off to me for almost all of my development in childhood. And so it was this “WOAH!” Moment and that’s why I want all the things, whatever is the best way to explain a certain something, I want to find it. That just… Since it came to me, once I was already developed, I was past puberty and knew how to interact with others and had independence when it started so it just became a way to… Share myself.
Cal: I think for me it’s all emotional, because I’m such an emotional person, whether that means being overly happy about a certain thing to the point of tears or a panic attack- being able to turn that into music and knowing that the energy spent going into music versus a bad interaction with someone, or an embarrassing one, I can feel that energy leaving in the same way but it’s put into something I can repeat in my headphones and… It’s like having a conversation with myself. It used to feel like and can sometimes still feel like something that has to be drained. Like cycling new blood, it’s cycling myself through the shit that piles up and getting it into this pureness. I think it’s an important communication tool, to be able to communicate with myself and to those who are important around me.

Does your individual creativity go into your romantic relationship?

Emily: Hell yeah ::laughs::
Cal: Yeah ::laughs:: Like the other night, she was working on crafts and stuff that she’s doing for Halloween because we’re throwing this big party and I was remixing this song, and I could look over and see her working things out in her brain as it’s going on behind me and we both look up and make eye contact when we notice that the other person found a stride in their project and that was so cool. So we get that immediate feedback and she’s not just sitting there watching, she’s doing her thing and we get to ping pong that, that energy and experience.
E: Our relationship started long distance and one of the things that I found was we got so excited about telling each other what we were doing, so we wanted to do it more. So the conversation kept coming back to creativity and the process and you know, how we could do more as artists in our own fields. And that, it just became this snowballing of wanting to do more so we could talk more sooooooo now I do more! That back and forth has always been just… This really strong part of how we connect with our own things and it’s certainly not the same craft at all, but we can understand the concepts and how that relates to our lives.

How did the relationship begin?

Cal: We’ve been dating officially for like… 6 months?
Emily: Yeah.
C: But… This like, knowing that this was heading in this direction happened about a year ago around this time.
E: Talking everyday for about 11 months or so. It was something that happened really naturally. It kind of started off as a “hey, how’s it going” to constant contact even though there were hundreds of miles there, and thinking “what do we do… What’s the next step?” and to came down to closing the distance so we could have a relationship that felt like it was real.
C: The important thing to know, from my end of this, about how this started was that I was coming off of this coming of age feeling of like… I had moved away from home and then I moved back home and I felt like I was living in a ghost town and my mom was trying to get into the groove of her own life in her 50’s, to prioritize, and everyone was kinda getting into their own cove of life and then there was me just endlessly anxious for more and all the freedom to do it. I tend to spin my wheels a lot and I would go and talk to my mom and she didn’t have the energy anymore to deal with my repetitive life complaints with no attempt to change on my end and she told me that. So, with Emily, the first conversation over the phone after I saw her come back for the holidays because she grew up in Connecticut too, was her asking how I was doing and me telling her that I was in the worst way. And then we got on the phone and I knew she was… I knew it was gonna grow when I would completely unload about my life and my current mindset and she would just like… Be there. She never said to go get help, she was willing to take me on and that helped me open up in a lot of ways.
E: Yeah, that first phone call happened with advice from my Uncle ’cause he said that if I was really trying to get to the bottom of how my friend was doing, how that other person is, to just get him on the phone ’cause you can tell.
C: Always.
E: You can see right through it, you can see right through all of it. And I told him to just give me a call…
C: No better way to diagnose.
E: Yeah, we started talking to see if we could solve the issue at hand and then it became a constant conversation.

What do you think of love?

Cal: What do I think of love… Or what do we think of love…
Emily: It’s a heavy, wonderful, beautiful, scary, exciting, thrilling thing.
C: Yeah. I don’t think I ever had experienced it. I had tried to prop up my emotions to try to feel it in previous relationships thinking that it was a thing you do and try for the sake of feeling like you’re not wasting your time. But that’s not how it works at all. When I told her I loved her though… It blew my mind. It was a level of life that I had only heard people talk about.
E: For me, I had been in a long term relationship, I have been married so I was like… Over it, in a sense. And as our relationship started to develop, I started seeing and experiencing all these things that I never had. And holy shit… There is this feeling that this person is your safe space. Is your happy place. They want things for you, they encourage you. And you know when you’re there, in that space together.
C: We are able to retreat to each other.
E: To recharge and be there.
C: Being able to show the affection that we both need so we’re able to face the world.

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