Elegant Discomfort: Acidic Male & Jelmer Noordeman

Acidic Male, real name Puck Schot, makes elegant industrial music that processes raw emotion and personal experiences through sound recordings, poetry and (sometimes) visual art. She performed a special live show responding to the theme Exit Human at Plein 1940 as part of the Conflux Festival 2023’s opening concert.

Jelmer Noordeman is a former member of the illustration and large scale mural duo Bier en brood. He has since embarked on a solo exploration into the notions of time, perception and dissonance, working in the mediums of experimental analog video art and painting. 

They started working together last year and presented their collaboration at Klankvorm’s Audio Visual Explorations event at the Cinerama Filmtheater earlier in the year. Acidic Male & Jelmer Noordeman perform as part of the Conflux Festival’s Expanded Cinema showcase at Brutus Kathedraal on Friday 16 June.

Puck: With poetry I wanted to access emotion without shame, address anger more directly, as well as feelings of dissatisfaction and fear. I often paid actors to perform my poetry in video works. Sometimes I performed my poetry, but even then I felt a barrier to touch on subjects that were personal: sometimes I tried to remove myself physically, shying away by performing blindfolded, or adjusting the text to a format that did not access direct emotions. But something in me wanted to let go of performativity, which I felt was expected of me within the visual art world. I started Acidic Male in late 2018/early 2019, encouraged by my femme friends to use my voice and experiment with sound. The name comes from a kind of “Othering” of my voice as some sort of revenge piece, which I only end up being subjected to. Music has become a great tool for transformative self-exploration.

Puck: Exit Human made me think of an apocalyptic post-reality dream world. In relation to Joanie Lemercier’s ‘View From the Moon’, I thought of creating a faux earthquake through sound. For me, it always becomes more than just the technical and sonic research. As I was creating these sounds that emulate nausea, I also felt the need to write about personal elements. I started searching for an abstract link between sonic representations of a fictive earthquake and self-abjection. I wandered through creating poetry and sounds on what grounds these two elements meet. The performance addressed memories, but also celebrated the body as a song finale.

Jelmer: Puck has an uncanny touch in her work, which I really dig. Some parts are more droning and meditative as others are more chaotic and schizoid. These aspects relate to my work, so it feels natural to tap into the stream and react with each other.

Puck: Jelmer’s work at first sight seems brute, analogue, fragmented and uncompromising. I really enjoy working with Jelmer when we combine our gear, for example, when I send sound to him, or when he connects his VJ gear to a synth and sends sound to me. His analog images sometimes look like distorted body echoes. Looking at them for a long time is quite hypnotising.

Jelmer: We’ve talked about where our interests collide and what we could do with that. We both have a natural interest in the attraction and rejection of individuals. We divided the performance into three parts, each intensifying discomforting emotions. In a sea of sound and abstract black and white video we reacted to each other, with every part created by a visually connected mixture of sounds from us both.


Jelmer Noordeman’s solo exhibition at Nieuw Charlois Rotterdam presenting a video installation and new paintings about time, perception and purity in dissonance opens on Saturday 27 May.

Read about Jelmer Noordeman at HIJS

Puck Schot is currently working on sound design with performer Courtney May Robertson for an upcoming production, and writing her Acidic Male debut album.

Listen to Acidic Male’s latest podcast

Read about Acidic Male in Gonzo Circus


Program 2023

  • Conference

    Curiosity abounds when dealing with nonhuman forms of consciousness in relation to the very human forms of emotional and intellectual expression inherent to the art and music presented at Conflux Festival. Do abstraction and beauty translate? Do intention and meaning change? Can one compose for another type of consciousness? What dreams do machines and bees share?

    The one day Conflux Festival conference happening at Worm explores machine hallucinations for waking humans through talks and presentations by theorists, artists and performers from the festival program in response to the festival theme of Living Machines. With special focus on the nonhuman experience of consciousness, the conference presents alternate ways of understanding our rapidly integrated human-machine world.


    Click on names for more info

    Laura Tripaldi
    Soft Machines. Material Interfaces Between Bodies and Technologies
    Nicky Assmann
    Artist Talk
    Jorrit Paaijmans
    Artist Talk
    Joost Rekveld
    Analog Dreams of Nature
    Dave Murray-Rust
    Claire Williams
    Artist Talk
  • Club Nights

    After the neurological demands and multisensory stimulation of the Conflux's Festival day program, by night you're invited to viscerally engage in the techno-driven sounds of the club nights happening at POING and WORM across two dancefloors. Plunged into darkness and sensorially deprived by strobe and smoke, surrounded by other bodies ensnared in the ritualistic human-machine interactions of the dancefloor, here the unconscious processing can begin.

    At POING on Friday experience an afterhours program of bass-driven techno with daring producer and Fever AM label co-founder Rhyw playing with Amsterdam experimental bass artist Zohar and rising Rotterdam dubstep DJ Nala Brown from the female-focused AMPFEMININE collective. Plus local support from Ruwedata, Nikos and Mark Rutta (AKA Mark & Ruta Genyten).

    At WORM on Saturday, the playful leftfield house sounds of rRoxymore meets electro, industrial and seering "Mensch-Maschine" techno with Oliver Ho DJing as Broken English Club alongside Rotterdam techno veteran and Mord Records chief Bas Mooy, with a special collaboration from Perron resident Rita Maomenos and visual artist Cem Altınöz. Plus local support from Afra, dirtydms and Vox supreme.


    Click on names for more info

    Broken English Club
    Bas Mooy
    Nala Brown
    Rita Maomenos & Cem Altınöz
    Vox supreme
    Noach & Tyn
    Mark Rutta
  • Exhibitions

    Are machines living among us or are we living among machines? And how can we learn from each other's experiences? This year’s Conflux Festival dives deep into the human-machine dichotomy and raises questions about our relationship with artificial systems through two exhibitions exploring the festival theme of Living Machines.

    At V2_ artists Claire Williams, Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand, Jorrit Paaijmans, Louis-Philippe Demers and Entangled Others Studio present multidisciplinary works at the intersection of science, art and technology. Under the title ‘Living Machines’ the selection of artworks show alternative views on how technology influences human perception. The second exhibition at Roodkapje presents kinetic light installations and screen based experiments by artistic researchers from the Macular collective, who celebrate 15 years of their nomadic lab practice.

    The exhibitions are free of charge. Opening times:

    Thursday 15 June: 18:00 - 21:00
    Friday 16 June: 14:00 - 20:30
    Saturday 17 June: 14:00 - 20:30
    Sunday 18 June: 14:00 - 20:30


    Click on names for more info

    Entangled Others Studio
    Macular: Nicky Assmann
    The Abysses of the Scorching Sun
    Macular: Daan Johan & Joris Strijbos
    Macular: Daan Johan & Joris Strijbos
    Macular: Eric Parren
    Macular: Nicky Assmann & Joris Strijbos
    Liquid Solid
    Jorrit Paaijmans
    Automatic Signum Series
    Jorrit Paaijmans
    Linearis Objectum No.3
    Louis-Philippe Demers
    A Monocular Dialogue
    Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand
    Hilbert Hotel
    Claire Williams
    Macular: Matthijs Munnik
    Macular: Matthijs Munnik
  • Performances

    Conflux Festival explores the broad and murky boundaries between humans and their machines over a four day program of innovative sound performances, live audiovisual presentations and experimental cinema showcases by a cross-section of internationally renowned artists, happening across a diverse range of environments throughout the city of Rotterdam.

    For the free opening concert on Thursday, Conflux Festival presents a public sound art intervention at Plein 1940 featuring elements of the Kinetic Sounds multichannel sound installation. On Friday, the concrete cathedral Brutus will host an expanded cinema showcase of audiovisual works going beyond the traditional frame of a screen. On Saturday, visual artists and musicians will present a series of immersive screen-based performances at the Arminius Kerk, and on Sunday experience experimental theater and sound performances at Worm.


    Click on names for more info

    Drew McDowall
    Leila Bordreuil
    Ulla & Nan Wang
    AV live collaboration
    Joost Rekveld, Fani Konstantinidou & Anne La Berge
    Acidic Male & Jelmer Noordeman
    AV live collaboration
    Michela Pelusio
    SpaceTime Helix
    Olivier de Sagazan
    Encor Studio
    Mint Park
    Macular: Daan Johan
    Joost Rekveld
    Film Screening: Mechanisms Common to Disparate Phenomena; #59
    Pandelis Diamantides
    Paul Devens
    Pulses, Pops and Kaboom
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