What is the element of ruins, the smallest part of a wholeness that is shredded, flawed, broken, destroyed, damaged, smashed, or distorted?
The building in decline, or a park sculpture abandoned, or a detail of said sculpture?
While this question might appear to be speculative, think about how unnatural is the long-accepted division of the melody of speech into separate sentences, or, if that does not convince you, about the breaking down of words into syllables or sounds.
The search for the minimal element of matter has always been a fascination for humanity. From the gigantic atoms of the Abderite, to the modern social theories, to divide things into subsets of things, sub-things of all kinds, is the scholarly pursuit, so why not ask a question about the element of ruins? Unlike debris, ruins did not lose their form, they do not possess the form of the object of which they are ruins, but their very lack of form, which makes them the former object, is also a form in itself.
 Jackson, Mark, and Maria Fannin, “Letting Geography Fall Where It May—Aerographies Address the Elemental,” Environment and Planning D, 2011.