My Security with Boundaries (and how it was questioned)

I was walking around today, taking photographs of the physical boundaries that have been my mental focus for the last few weeks. It was the first time that I set out to photograph locks and gates and barbed wire and walls, and boy did I ever find boundaries in a two-block radius of my apartment. But what I found beyond those boundaries also surprised me.

Generally, I would say, I’ve been thinking of these boundaries as flimsy and superficial. Short fences, broken gates, simple locks that would be easy to pick or cut; all of these factors made me underestimate the real use of them. I’d been so focused on what the locks “mean” rather than “do,” that I needed a scare to help me remember. Luckily, I wasn’t robbed, my boundaries weren’t necessarily breached, and I wasn’t harmed.

However, as I had walked up to one particular wall with yellow flowers growing through the holes in the cement wall, I was startled by a particularly vicious warning bark. That first bark and growl was followed by another canine voice joining in, and I was instantly aware of being grateful for the boundary between those two anonymous dogs and me.

But just as I was walking back to my own house, past the gate in that cement wall, I see, almost like it’s in slow motion, two front paws pushing the door open. It swung open with the momentum of the dog’s force, and I was instantly more than just startled. I was concerned that this dog was actually going to attack me, and so was another woman walking across the street. She shouted a warning, and we both warily walked away, as fast as we could. But the dog followed us at a trot. It wasn’t until we were nearly a block and half away that it turned around, and went back to its yard.

I was shaken, and I’m not afraid of dogs. What really disturbed me most, beyond the initial fierce disembodied barking was the fact that my comfort level with boundaries was instantly shattered and shifted. No longer were the walls, gates, and doors so static.
Sure, I still noticed the idiosyncrasies of a lock locked onto a door, without locking anything in or out, or the fact that a wall couldn’t keep a flower in, or how vines grew into barbed wire, and worked themselves into the border patrol. However, now, I’m thinking of how much such boundaries change.

It’s like the coffin in a haunted house. One minute it’s a stationary prop, and the next minute, a huge vampire is jumping out towards your neck. I got a big shock, and therefore, a shift to my thinking. I’m curious to see if, at all, my photographs and focus in this topic will shift.

Will I focus now on also incorporating more of how boundaries are created, changed and trespassed? I think so. I so wish I had the wherewithal at that moment to snap a shot of the dog breaking through the wall, because it was a pivotal action that has shown me just one more way to think about breaking boundaries and rethinking security.

I’m pleased with many of the images. This was a test run, and a way of avoiding the relative monotony of shooting only YALE locks. Since my focus is technically security, this episode with the dog and the simple act of walking critically around my neighborhood has enabled me to see security a little more in these works.

Now I’m wondering how I can transgress ideas of security, along the lines of the loose dog, perhaps through staged events, as well as hopefully, through quicker hands and thinking!

I thought I was more sure of my thinking for my final project, but now the floodgates of thought and possibilities have released that much more inspiration and things to think about!

The security set has grown HERE.


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