© Robert Bowen 2017

Photography is a Container

Please scroll right to see all the images:

These works are site proposals in the form of photographic models.

The project explores a range of containment scenarios in which images of recycled shipping containers are deployed as metaphorical containments. The multitude of current world-wide issues that we might wish to contain is vast and unruly, ranging from situations resulting from disproportionate wealth distribution to continuously shifting terror networks, and natural disasters resulting from climate change.

In this work containment may also be seen as the act of framing. For example, a photographer frames a subject before a photograph is captured, and the resulting image is framed once again on the computer screen, or in an actual physical picture frame designed to hang on a gallery wall.

The project also addresses scale and quantifiable measurement of the built and natural environment. The metric used is one standard-size shipping container, and the most typical full-size unit is approximately 8 x 8 x 40 feet in length.

Historically the term, containment, was also employed in U. S. foreign policy statements during the Cold War– it referred to the strategy designed to counter balance the effects of the Domino Theory, wherein it was believed that communist countries systematically export their ideology to neighboring nations for the purpose of overthrowing capitalist governments.

This project was originally published in Paisea #018 Landscape Architecture Magazine, September 2011.


Recycled Container Sculpture


Block 5

Temporary Skyway Skyway_BW.jpg

Isolation Wall - Urban Containment Zone Containment Zone.jpg

Obstacles on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway
Maximum Security Prison, New York Harbor Security Prison_BW.jpg

Stanford White Building Collapse White Bldg Collapse.jpg

Suburban Containment Zone

Shock Corridor/Cinema

Recycled shipping containers are arranged to filter sunlight into cinematic stroboscopic light pulses that are capable of inducing epileptic seizures and general disorientation in hapless drivers.


NYC Ozone Shield

As pollution continues to destabilize this fragile layer of the earth’s atmosphere, Ozone Shield is designed to protect urban residents from the resulting harmful effects of the sun’s radiation. This structure is composed of recycled shipping containers.

Trade Barrier

This art installation was designed for the Capital Mall, Washington D. C. Built with recycled and deconstructed shipping containers, it’s a monument to all of those instances in which the United States government has engaged in the practice of imposing trade restrictions on other nations.

Pandora - Sheep Meadow, Central Park, NYC Sheep Meadow Central Park.jpg


Hello Dubai

Experimental Containment Community

This unique middle class subdivision celebrates consumption along with excess, as it explores the use of recycled shipping containers as inexpensive modular storage units attached to existing housing.

Urban Metric Metrics.jpg

Domino Theory Theory.jpg

Paper Container Metrics Container Metrics.jpg

Minimalist Art - Strafford, VT Art Site.jpg

Dangerous Prospects


Exhibition 6 Days a Week



Make Your Own