Alan Ruiz


WS-C1-5R6A (2023)  

One-way glass, aluminum composite panel, aluminum extrusions, hardware, existing architecture.

WS-B46-L4 (2024)

A contract detailing the one-year lease (2024 - 2025) of 3,000 square feet of air rights at $1 per month. The work is permanently recorded and accessible via New York City's Automated City Information System (ACRIS).

on view January 17 2024 - July 15 2024

Density consists of two works at 47-11 Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, New York.  WS-C1-5R6A (2023) occupies the storefront window of the building that exists at this address. WS-B46-L4 (2024) confronts the entirety of the building on this lot, as well as its immaterial limits, through a one-year lease of the property’s remaining air rights. Both areas – the window at street level and the space over the building – are defined by legal as well as social contracts that give them shape and inform the way they, in turn, reproduce the contours of public and privatized space. Such techniques of spatial partitioning structure relations of authority in everyday life. They participate in infrastructures that determine access and exclusion and often become fundamental to a group’s social production. They generate forms, environments, practices, and modes of perception that exert a normalizing effect, where the new and old are not only intermingled but wrestle for vertical authority.

Techniques of partitioning rely on standards—standards that are often perceived as benign  (if they are perceived at all), as merely ways of establishing efficiency, compliance, and repeatability. Standards, either through soft law, zoning, or exterior building envelopes, may serve the ideal-ego of a dominant group, where obfuscation masquerades as transparency and organizational inclusion efforts produce wider forms of alienation.

Though standards and the socio-spatial choreographies they engender may appear functional and rational, they can also serve as covert social defenses, embodying the hardly conscious, irrational forces of a dominant group. Standards may be designed to ensure commensurability and safety within and across systems, yet, they can also be deployed to enforce homogeneity and exclusion, keeping the perceived dangers that evoke anxieties, such as difference and dissent, at bay.

- Alan Ruiz