Final worksheets

New idea for final project

I have finally come to an agreement with myself to accept that creating a perfectly functional bodysuit for performances would be way too ambitious to accomplish in a span of only one month. After trying to look for more inspirations, I’ve talked to Chenhe about his idea about creating music with Ramen. I thought about an idea of visiting various ramen places and collecting sounds of people eating ramen and then we can turn those data into sound-visualization for each ramen place. After a discussion, we both still couldn’t find a strong concept of what we can actually do with Ramen so Chenhe introduced me to Hara Kenya’s ‘Water Pachinko’ and suggested we could do something like that instead. We want to build something that represents waterfall and far-east style instrumental music.

Hara Kenya’s ‘Water Pachinko’

Our idea is to create an installation that consists of a water repellent white canvas with several pins attached to form a pattern. Users will use a dropper to drop colored water from the top of the canvas that would later fall down due to gravity. While the water drops travel through the canvas, they can either change direction, multiply into several drops or combine with other drops each time they hit the pins. This, visually, will result in a water painting-like canvas. 

We will put a bowl under the canvas and install a microphone near it to collect the sound of the water dripping from the canvas and dropping into the bowl below and use that for one of our sound sources. We will also install a camera that can capture the whole canvas and track the position and the pace of water drops, turn the data into values and eventually use those values as inputs for music making software.

Project schedule and goals for final presentation

Link to spreadsheet

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Midterm Documentation

Link to slide

Butoh is a Japanese dance theater that mainly use movement to express emotions and stories. The performers usually paint their body white and exhibit choreography and movement in silence. This kind of performance began to gain popularity in Thailand and now we there are several groups that try to apply this technique into theatre. Though butoh is usually performed without any sounds to music, my friend (a theater actress) and I would like to create a performance that bring sounds and new aspect to a butoh performance.

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We want to create a bodysuit that will turn the performer into a human instrument. While the performer is moving, the audiences can come up and make contacts with each parts of the performer’s body to create sound effects, alter the background music as well as add new sounds. I plan to use various DIY textile sensors for the bodysuit so that it is easier to sew on and would make the suit more light-weighted. The sensors I plan to use is touch pressure sensors and stroke sensors.

For midterm presentation, I made a prototype of the bodysuit with DIY touch pressure sensors attached to a various parts of the suit. I then use Ableton connection kit to map each sensor to each parameters of Ableton Live to control the pitch and apply sound effects to the music.


I tested the sensors with Arduino IDE and they all worked perfectly and gave stable values. However, when I connected them to Ableton Live, the mapping were all messed up and in the end I could only control one of them. I think it is because I used Adafruit’s FLORA instead of UNO and the pin numbers are somehow different. I tried to look up id anyone has experienced using FLORA with Ableton but unfortunately I couldn’t find any useful information so I decided to use one sensors to control several sound effects in Ableton instead. I will upload a demo video of how this works like I showed in class soon!

For next steps, I will try to find a way  to fix the mapping and connection between FLORA and Ableton. It I can’t, I will switch to Arduino UNO since there has already been so many projects using it with Ableton so it will be easier to improve and debug the code. I also would love to work on visual improvement and work on how to make the bodysuit look appealing and is also comfortable for the performer to wear and move in.

Intro to Wearables: Week 3

The assignment this week is to create a garment that expresses messages to people around you. I was struggling a bit with the ideation because, once again, I wanted to do something that is practical and doesn’t focus only on the concept but I found it really difficult for that because the ideas I had in mind were mostly really conceptual. I decided to go with the idea I wanted to do the most even if it cannot be used in real life at all. I realized that if I limit myself by caring too much about “making sense” then there’d be no point in doing this since I couldn’t really express my thoughts as I wanted to.

I decided to create a headpiece that protects the wearers from their surroundings. This headpiece looks just like a scarf or a neck accessory in its normal state and, depending on the wearers’ decisions, with the use of muscle wires, it will expand and become a shield-like headpiece that prevent people to interact or get close to the wearers. This head piece is inspired by Winnie Yoe’s ‘Confrontation for Introverts’ workshop where one of the participants created a helmet that prevented people from seeing her face. The head piece I created is for the wearers to send out the message and let people know that they want to be left alone or they don’t want any accompany at the moment.

I tested out Shape Memory wires (4 wires at a time) and they were working perfectly when I connected them with Arduino using male to male wires and conductive tape. I then sewed 8 wires to the fabric and used conductive thread to create the circuit. Unfortunately it didn’t work when I plug the headpiece into the Arduino. There was spark and flame and then my Arduino shut down and I was too afraid to try again. I figured it might be that the 5V was not enough to heat up 8 wires at the same time? I then switched to 11V battery but again it didn’t work. The wires didn’t get hot at all. In the end I needed to use a hair dryer to heat the wires up to get them back in the programmed shape since I didn’t have enough time to look for a more powerful power supply. I also haven’t installed an on-off button/switch for this headpiece too.

This headpiece looks pretty nice in my opinion! My next step is to try to find a way to make this work with battery since I wanted it wireless and I also don’t wanna risk breaking my Arduino again. I will also need to install a switch that will control when the current can pass through the wires.

Intro to Wearable: Week 2

The second assignment is to create new senses trough wearables. At first, I couldn’t really grasp the idea of the the word ‘new sense’ and I was mostly thinking about supernatural thing like ‘seeing a ghost’ and ’reading another person’s feelings’. After I asked around and talked with several people in the class, I finally learned that it can be something as simple as ‘sense of direction’ or ‘sensing the weather’. I then spent a lot of time thinking about how I can make something that would be useful for me in real life and is also not to ambitious for me to finish in a week. 

Since I’ve been having a lot of arguments with my girlfriend lately, I wanted to make something that’d help improving our relationship. One thing that has always been a problem between us is that she thinks I’m always being too loud and I always yell at her every time we’re in a fight (which I beg to differ). I think it’s really hard to tell if you’re being too loud or not when you’re the one speaking? That’s why I thought that a wearable that is able to detect the volume of your voice and let you know if you’re being loud would be a nice fix for my habit.

I decided to create a small device that you can put anywhere (inside a hat, a bra, a pocket, etc.) and it will detect the volume of your voice and vibrate if your voice goes above the threshold. I used Aadfruit Flora, a microphone and a vibration motor for this.

I was trying to use conductive thread since I wanted to practice designing soft circuit diagram but ended up soldering everything together because the transistor and the resistor was difficult to sew. After that I sew Flora on to a piece of fabric to make it look like a small packet. For the code, I had some problems taking readings from microphone at first volume but could make it work in the end with helps from David.

This works perfectly! I had some friends put it in their caps/pockets and started yelling at me. They said they could sense the vibration even it feels subtle sometimes.

For the next step, if I decide to continue working on this, I’d like to attach self-adhesive fabric to one side of the packet so that it’s easier to stick it to your choice of clothing.

Here is the code I used for this.

const int motorPin = 6;
int micVal = 0;

void setup() {
Serial.begin (9600);
pinMode(motorPin, OUTPUT);

void loop() {
// Serial.println(micVal);

float micVol = 0;
float micLoudness = 0;
float updateMicVol = 0;
float prevMicVol = 0;
float loud = 0;

for(int i=0; i < 200; i++) {
micVol = analogRead(A9);
loud = abs(prevMicVol – micVol);
micLoudness += loud;
prevMicVol = micVol;

updateMicVol = micLoudness / 200;

if (updateMicVol > 200) {
digitalWrite(motorPin, HIGH);
digitalWrite(motorPin, HIGH);
digitalWrite(motorPin, LOW);


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