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


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