Character Sketches for Touch

By: Randall Packer |

The following character sketches for each student describe preliminary narrative ideas and roles based on everyone’s Project Hyperessay writings. Please send your feedback.

Students should consider and reshape these sketches for developing the performance. Also, consider the sketches as an influence in the design/creation of costume and wearable. I would also like to see each student come up with a name for their character.

Angeline (Queen): She believes in a liberated sovereignty and empowerment in the third space that is performed and maintained by multiple modes of expression. She has a grand vision of the future of telematics and the virtual embrace, but must work with the complex dynamics of an often unruly colony of beings who are not always sympathetic nor compatible with her ideas. Across the cultural and physical distance of the telematic divide, she seeks to integrate the remote and the diverse through artistic agency. Through her spontaneous actions, Angline invokes her dreams, as well as those of the colony, in order to achieve real communication, contact, and intimacy in the third space.

Sound: nature sounds, nature rhythms, running water, rustling leaves, liquids (dripping, rushing, trickling, pumping, surging, flowing), wind, soft ostinatos varied with crescedo/decrescendo, silence, breath


Charlene (Kali): A predatory virtual being in the third space, who through her pixelated-glitch representation, omits menacing sounds and preys on physical beings/performers, swallowing them through contraction and expansion. With the ability to wrap her arms around another members of the colony, as well as Angeline, Charlene is a presence who must be contained because of her desire to carry out the “touch of destruction.”

Kali is is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, or shakti. She is the mighty aspect of the goddess Durga. The name of Kali means black one and force of time, she is therefore called the Goddess of Time, Change, Power, Creation, Preservation, and Destruction.

Sound: jarring, malfunction, glitching, computer-generated


Tiffany (Zhong yin shen): She is a seer in the darkness of a dystopic virtual world, haunted by strange, disorienting sounds when people touch. Tiffany has a desire to lead her fellow beings in the colony into a safer third space to find new life and refuge with Angeline.  She boldly engages the colony in the discovery of new forms of images that are constructed through the rejection of “perfect media,” as a new world begins to take shape in the third space.

Zhong yin shen refers to a spirit in a transition state between his/her death and when he/she goes for reincarnation, as described in Mahayana Buddhism.

Sound: horror, haunting, ghost-like


Feliciana (Chamunda): She heads a resistance against Charlene, who attempts to attack others through the “touch of destruction” with her large, enveloping arms. When a dancer is forced to the ground, Feliciana tries to revive them, creating loud, startling sounds with her touch. Eventually, Feliciana is able to defeat Charlene by instructing the colony to pass their virtual presence through Charlene, creating an explosion of color and glitch in the blending of bodies.

Chamunda also known as Chamundi, Chamundeshwari and Charchika, is a fearsome aspect of Devi, the Hindu Divine Mother and one of the seven Matrikas (mother goddesses). She is also one of the chief Yoginis, a group of sixty-four or eighty-one Tantric goddesses, who are attendants of the warrior goddess Durga.

Sound: fighting, epic, screaming


Gladys (Tara): She is concerned with what lies on the “other side” of the third space: fixated on the idea of understanding and engaging Angeline, an amorphous figure, not entirely discernible, by reaching out to touch her, transforming Angeline’s presence through her touch. Gladys invokes a surreal, magical presence through her fluid, sinewy movement. In the end, through her undulating movement, Gladys breaks the spell of entrapment in the third space that threatens to engulf the colony in a telematic world that is devoid of physical, tactile interaction: ultimately allowing them to all engage with Angeline.

Tara is the second of the Dasa (ten) Mahavidyas or “Great Wisdom [goddesses]”, is a form of Durga in Hinduism. Tantric manifestations of Durga or Mahadevi, Kali, or Parvati. As the star is seen as a beautiful but perpetually self-combusting thing, so Tara is perceived at core as the absolute, unquenchable hunger that propels all life.

Sound: normal to processed voices, manipulated


Xin Hong (Peitho): When she touches another being, there is an electric shock that is accompanied by melodic vocal sounds. Sometimes the touch is comforting but often it produces fear, a numbing sensation that paralyzes others. However, the desire to touch is so strong, that no one can resist Xin Hong. Xin Hong’s touch produces various forms of biological transformations, altering other beings to change color, shape, luminosity, etc. No one can resist her touch because Xin Hong is so powerful and seductive.

Peitho is the Greek goddess who personifies persuasion and seduction.

Sound: singing, opera


Yuhao (The Conductor): He is a weaver of personal histories through sound, a composer, who conducts and orchestrates the sonic world that is generated by the movement and actions of Angeline and the colony. He carefully layers the sound to coordinate a sense of harmonic affiliation in the third space through the carefully blending of personal histories represented in sound. However, Yuhao’s efforts are often undermined and disrupted by the actions of Charlene and Feliciana. Yuhao seeks to overcome their resistance through mysterious answers from Angeline as to the amorphous and intangible nature of human communication in the third space to create a world of mutual understanding.

The Conductor leads the music by orchestrating with gestures and subtle motion.

Sound: harmonics and overtones of other exiting sounds

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(Edit) Rene Ong Xin Hong
Sound like a plan! Lets materialise this vision! " one can resist Xin Hong..."

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