Dissolving in a Circle: Noise, Techno, and the Critical Revaluation of John Portman is one in a pair of essays about the Renaissance Center in Detroit, and was published in The Avery Review. The piece considers the building through the lens of two music festivals in Detroit on Memorial Day Weekend, 2016.

Because couldn’t we think about this sensation not as a distraction from the mechanics of our economies but as a valid and meaningful aesthetic experience in its own right? The thumps and drones of this weekend were, for me and many other people, loaded. They took me to meditative spaces, powerful and sublime in their character. Getting lost within them did not mean losing my connection from their realities so much as rolling deeper into their physics.

Photo by Jordan Hicks, drawing by John Portman & Associates