with Amelia Bande, Hai-Ting Chinn, Tomás Cruz, Malik Gaines, and Ned Riseley
Museum of Arts and Design, July 2020
Disordo Virtutum is an online performance for six remote vocalists, cello, and recorded sound that uses the 12th-century mystic, philosopher, and composer Hildegard von Bingen’s morality play Ordo Virtutum (Order of the Virtues) as a blueprint for reckoning with the moral imperatives of our time. In the medieval Ordo Virtutum, the devil and seventeen personified virtues fought over the fate of a fallen soul. Each of the virtues got a solo before Chastity crushed the devil’s head under her foot. In Disordo Virtutum, the virtues are reimagined for the conditions of the present – Underlying Condition, Distance, Riot, Planning, and Abolition – with the audience occupying the position of both the fallen soul and the devil. The performance was conceived for a series of intimate audiences of just 20 over Zoom, with the expectation that participants keep their cameras on and participate in small, but important, ways. In an era of proliferating violent orders and rampant virtue signaling, Disordo Virtutum is a meditation on the virtue of disorder.
“Nun of the Above: Jess Barbagallo on Ethan Philbrick’s Disordo Virtutum,” July 2020