RWET: Assignment 4

Our Modern Love Story

– Yves Pokakunkanon

This assignment is heavily inspired by ‘So Sad Today: Personal Essays by Melissa Broder’. In one of the chapters, the writer describe her relationship with the person she was seeing at that time in a very sarcastic way. I really enjoyed this kind of writing and I think this is the chapter I like most out of the entire book. Below is some of my most favorite quotes from that chapter. They are concise yet powerful.

“I’m in love with you and you don’t want anything to do with me so I think we can make this work: a love story.”

“Let’s pretend you are capable of being who I think I need you to be: a love story.”

“We’re going to spend the rest of our lives together in my head: a love story”

Melissa Broder, So Sad Today: Personal Essays

I wanted to create something similar to this. Something that explores how human mind work in certain situations. Something that sounds contradicting yet reasonable in some ways.

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My poetic form is called ‘How Our World Works In A Weird Way’. It consists of 5 lines in total. The first line is a statement, followed by a conjunction, an argumentative statement , the conclusion/consequence of the first two statements and ends with the title of the poem.

The source text for line 1 and line 3 are the compliments and complaints my girlfriend and I gave each other over text messages. And for conclusion (line 4), the phrases are mostly selected from my favorite Lana Del Rey lyrics. I used Tracery this time and I think it made it so much easier and faster to code this style of poetry generator.

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I first planned for each poem to have 3 sets of line 1-4 before putting the title at the end. I did get some interesting results from it. However, after experimating and playing around with construction and line break, I decided to not go with the repetitiveness and removed the loop (for i in range(3)).

I also removed some of the words I felt was sabotaging the mood of the whole poem. For instance, I removed ‘That’s why’ in the begining of line 4 and ‘also’ in line 3. (Below is the example of how the poem was constructed before any adjustments)

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I am very happy with the outcome this time! Some of the poems has this very dry yet satisfying humor to it. I’m eager to play around with another set of source text and see how the result will be!

Link to code.

Mapping & New Idea

Mapping Ideas

Since there’s not much room to play with the rhythm or melody in this project, the only mapping I could come up with was the sequences and the volume of the sound clips. It might also be easier if I just do a website version for this with P5?

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I also came up with a new idea inspired from my choreographic intervention class where use pathway and lines and shapes to explore movement and choreography. I also came across these performances which are really cool.

Since I want to do something that involves human contact and movement, I’m thinking about creating a bodysuit that will turn a body into an instrument. Several SFR sensors will be installed into several parts of the bodysuit and the audiences will interact with the performer by touching and pressing the sensors on the bodysuit.


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RWET: Assignment 3

Trouble So Strong

Lyrics mashup sampled from Love So Strong by The Lovelites, Trouble by Halsey and Move On by City Garden Movement

By Yves Pokakunkanon

When I play my kind of jam. You say it’s intolerable.
When you put your favorite songs on speaker. I ask you to turn it off.
How about we play them all so everyone can be happy?

For this week assignment. I decided to do a lyrics mashup from three songs by three different artists. I asked my girlfriend to pick one of her favorite songs that she thinks best describes our relationship. I did the same but intendedly chose something that is very different from hers. The 3rd song is the song that we both listened to a lot in the beginning of our relationship. Since these songs are all very different in both meaning  and writing style aspect, I did not expect consistency or finesse from the result but was more curious to see the change in context.

I use .split(“\n”) to turn the first two songs into two lists of phrases (love and trouble) and .split() to create a list of words (moveon) from the 3rd song. I then combined the first two lists, pulled out 15 elements randomly with  random.sample() and put them in a new list (ourrelationship). My initial idea was to pick one random words from each elements in the list (ourrelationship) and replace them with words from another list (moveon). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to implement for loop function to do what I wanted. I also learned that you can only use .replace() with strings and not lists. In the end, I decided to just repeat the code several times and create different variables for every single one of them.

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I also learned that you cannot use the word all or every in your variable name when you are doing for loop. This is what happened when I tried to change the word heartbreak to everyheartbreak and allheartbreak.

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You can find some of the results on the top of this post.

Link to code

Interaction and Framework

Verplank IxD Framework

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7-Axis Dimension Space Diagram

Since my priority is to tell a story through sound, there is very little room for the user to actually control how this musical piece will sound like in terms of melody/rhythm/etc. And because I expect for this to be an emotionally immersive for the user, it will be a single-user interactive installation focusing each user’s individual experience. The sound role will be extremely expressive since its objective is to influence how the user feels. This installation requires no expertise at all.

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Feel/Know/Do Cycles

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I used Ableton to perform the piece to my girlfriend. I simply play First Luv by Jinsang as a background music and then I played various sound clips along with the song. As I expected, the sound clips were not informative enough and the playtest user didn’t really understand the meaning of them. They were also not convincing enough to cause an emotional sensation to the user. I have learned that it is very difficult to find sounds that can accurately represent everyone’s life since we are all from different culture and background. There is no situation that is typical enough to guarantee that everyone has to experience it at least once.

I might need to start looking for new ideas for final project. Another idea I have in mind right now is a song that users can control parts of the melodies and lyrics as they like.


RWET: Assignment 2

Excerpts from that one time we did not get into a fight

– Yves Pokakunkanon

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Continuing from the last assignment, I wanted to do some analysis on the conversation I had with my girlfriend a week ago. We’ve been having small nonsense arguments every single day after that night. Maybe knowing that no one is recording or listening to us can somehow make me feel like I can be as cocky and mean as I want? I knew that I was being very careful on that day. I talked way less that I usually do. I also didn’t snap when she ignored me.

I went back to the conversation and was trying to look for the point that could have turned wrong and could have led us into an argument. After going through the whole thing again, it surprised me how, with all those small house chores talk, we didn’t call each other out on being irresponsible even once. We had so many chances to start a fight but we didn’t. If I rewrite phrases with the vocabulary from that conversation, can the results sound like something a couple would quarrel over? Can they be topics for us to discuss next time we talk about relationship improvement?

I listed out the vocabulary we used that can come off as negative and has potential to lead us to a disagreement.

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I used the techniques from both A House of Dust and Taroko Gorge to create my poetry generator. I simply print() out the output which has been generated with random.choice() function. I use += to put S after the verb that follows singular nouns, unfortunately this doesn’t always work in my case. Sometimes S also appears after I or you. I intentionally break the phrases in separated lines for my own visual satisfaction. I like that it looks more dramatic this way.

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As expected, most of the output doesn’t really make much sense. They all sound like random words jumbled together. I would have to improve the way I constructed the sentence to make them sound more natural. However, to my surprise, there were also some interesting results. I have posted some of the funny ones on the top of this post. I hope you like them.

Link to code

Ideas and Aural Mood Board

Since I don’t really have much music experience, it’s been extremely difficult for me to come up with ideas for an interactive music piece. After looking around for inspirations, I’ve found some cool projects that I think are the closest to what I expect to be able to do for final project. What I wish to do is a sound installation that tells stories and I want to focus on the narrative rather than the musical satisfaction (since it would be very hard for me to achieve). Here’s the videos of the projects I really like.

For now, I have 2 ideas that I think would be suitable for this class.

The first one is an interactive storybook (or maybe a clock? A time traveling machine? A phone?) that consists of several music clips which represent each stage of a person’s life. Starting from when they were born to the very end of their days. I believe that we all have that sound/music that can take us back to the old days. This idea might be a bit tricky since it wouldn’t quite work with people from different culture and generation so designing the content for this will be very difficult. I think my target group should be someone within my age range (maybe 20s – mid 30s?) so that they can relate to the story.

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The second idea is an application that can track your activity then produce a sound/music piece that can help boost your energy and productivity mood when you’re inactive. I wanted to do this because I’m a very lazy person and it’d be great if I have something that reminds me to be more active. This would be really changeling to go through with since it requires a lot of coding knowledge and I don’t feel like I’m there yet. I think my best choice is to go with the first one for now.

Aural Mood board


I picked sound clips that are pretty generic to encounter in daily life. School bell, Ice cream truck song, Happy Birthday song etc. I hope this will be be able to remind people of their younger days.

Musical User Path


RWET: Assignment 1

A 10-minute-conversation between me and my girlfriend. Took place on our typical ordinary night when she just finished showering after getting home from work. Since we’ve been fighting a lot lately, I think it would be interesting to record our conversation to see who actually starts the fight. It was difficult not to cheat and make myself sound better than I actually did. Since I knew I was recording the whole thing, I was being very careful with my word. Maybe this is why we were not fighting this time?

I love how random things we were talking about are.  It’s interesting to see that some part of the conversation can be very misleading without supporting details. I’m also surprised to see that we actually talk this much in such a short time period.

I got her consent to post this on my blog and share it in class. The audio recording was transcribed and translated into English by me.

Person 1 : The trash can in the toilet smells pretty bad.

Person 2 : Come again?

Person 1 : The trash can in the toilet smells pretty bad.

Person 2 : Right… Because it’s

Person 1 : (cute voice) Because it’s your period right? Your period~ Because it’s your period~ Because it’s your period dancing in our toilet. Imagine this. What if your sanitary napkins roll out of the trash can at night and then they all start dancing like this.
Person 2 : Are you crazy?
Person 1 : Don’t forget to put the trash out tomorrow.
Person 2 : What if I forget again?
Person 1 : I’ll hit you to death.
Person 2 : Are we gonna fight again?
Person 1 : No I’ll just spank you. I need to pack my lunch for tomorrow but I’m too tired.
Person 2 : Pack this. I’ll give you some. (Point to Chinese food on the table)
Person 1 : I was thinking about packing curry.
Person 2 : So you don’t want this?
Person 1 : If you insist. Ok.
Person 2 : Come on. I know you actually want this from the start. You don’t wanna eat curry.
Person 1 : Because I’ve having curry for 2 days straight. Where is my cup? Oh you washed my dish for me? Thank you. Why are you so nice?
Person 2 : Because I am nice.
Person 1 : You are super nice. By the way, Amp and Kate want to have dinner tomorrow.
Person 2 : Where?
Person 1 : Our apartment.
Person 2 : Why?
Person 1 : They just want to.
Person 2 : Ok.
Person 1 : Not sure if they will actually come though.
Person 2: When will you get home tomorrow?
Person 1 : Not sure. I think Amp is planning to stay at her boyfriend’s place tomorrow.
Person 2 : Oh because his place is close to ours, right?
Person 1 : Yes, couple blocks away.
Person 2 : Where is it exactly?
Person 1 : Near Lorimer station. His place is really nice. It’s a new apartment with not to many units. And he has his own small backyard. Just like Japanese apartments.
Person 2 : Oh wait you already took a shower?
Person 1 : Yes because I’m tired.
Person 2 : I’m tired too. I didn’t sleep much last night so I’ll go to bed early today.
Person 1 : What is that thing on the floor.
Person 2 : That’s my shirt. Didn’t know I dropped it. Sorry.
Person 1 : I’m heating this up. Chilling~ Going to a Spa~ Hot stone~
Person 2 : Make sure that there is no food stain in the microwave before using it.
Person 1 : The microwave stinks.
Person 2 : Because I heated up Gapao (Stir fried meat and basil) this morning.
Person 1 : Was it good? The Gapao I made. It’s good, right?
Person 2 : It’s ok.
Person 1 : I ate some today and it was good.
Person 2 : Was it because you were hungry?
Person 1 : No, it tastes good whether I’m hungry or not. Let’s look at the cookbook. What should we make this weekend? By the way, I’m going to a party at Maprang’s house on Saturday. Her place is really nice.
Person 2 : Who’s that?
Person 1 : Maprang. You met her before. The tall girl with dark skin.
Person 2 : I don’t think I know her.
Person 1 : She went to my undergrad. You met her before. When we went out to drink.
Person 2 : I have no idea who she is.
Person 1 : Maybe you didn’t get to meet her that day because you left early.
Person 2 : Well how would I met her if she came after I left?
Person 1 : Let’s go to Brooklyn Museum on Saturday? I wanna see Frida’s work. Have I taken you there before? I remember taking you to the Mets. I also wanna take you to the Frick. You can take nice photos there.
Person 2 : Are you take photos for me?
Person 1 : Sure. And I checked the weather. It will be sunny on that day.
(Microwave sound)
Person 1 : I’m going to a Spa now. Hot stone Spa~ Hot stone Spa~
Person 2 : Are you taking a selfie?
Person 1 : I’m sending it to my mom.
Person 2 : Have you talk to your mom recently?
Person 1 : I just did.
Person 2 : You mean on Saturday? What about after that?
Person 1 : She’s taking grandma and grandpa to see doctors. You wanna try facial masks? Wait, you can’t. Your skin is too sensitive.
Person 2 : Of course I can! I want to!
Person 1 : The are in the fridge. Wow this is like I’m in a real Spa.
Person 2 : That looks comfy.
Person 1 : What is that noise?
Person 2 : Someone moving their furniture?
Person 1 : Why would they do it at this time of a night? People are sleeping.
Person 2 : Or maybe they are fighting?
Person 1 : Yelling at each other like us? No, I mean, like you yelling at me?
Person 2 : Why would you say that?
Person 1 : Because you are the only person yelling.
Person 2 : What….