Private Project

On The Offbeat

On The Offbeat is an experimental documentary punctuated by dance interludes, focusing on the notion of syncopation. Syncopation is a technique used in music, primarily developed by musicians from the African diaspora, to bring rhythm to life by making the accent fall on the offbeat. The film explores the wider sense of syncopation, as a disturbance and subversion of regular patterns - in social movements; in our experience and perception of time; in self organising systems (such as bee communication); and in creative processes in dance (such as Vogue Fem), music, sound art, poetry and cooking. It presents the work of five people from the diasporic and queer community, all based in London. Through interviews they give us different perspectives on what syncopation means in their lived experience, multi-disciplinary practices and research. The film spans multiple historic and contemporary narratives of displacement and resistance, resonating with our current condition of interruption and delay. On The Offbeat is an iridescent journey exploring syncopation as a transformative form of disruption that unsettles normative codes and breathes life back into daily rhythms.

  • Chooc Ly Tan
  • Omar Jordan Phillips
    Key Cast
  • Christopher Kirubi
    Key Cast
  • Hannah Catherine Jones
    Key Cast
  • Annie Goh
    Key Cast
  • Rishi Nalin Kumar
    Key Cast
  • Chooc Ly Tan
  • Mimosa House gallery
    Commissioned by
  • Arts Council England and Fluxus Art Projects
    With the support from
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    32 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 15, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Chooc Ly Tan

Chooc Ly Tan's visual art and film practice sets-out to create new visions of reality by subverting systems and/or tools we use to understand the world around us – such as concepts and methodologies from physics, politics and music. Her work spans across - and is not limited to - moving image, installations, DJ sets and club nights.
Recently her work was exhibited or screened as part of Euronoize, at Kunsthall Oslo; CHALE WOTE Festival, Film Labs, in Accra, Ghana; PAF Olomouk 2017 (Fest. of Film Animation & Contemporary Art), Czech Republic; Osmosis Audiovisual Media Festival, Taipei and Kaohsiung; and Banner Repeater, London. She is a visiting lecturer in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, and the Royal College of Art, in London.

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Director Statement

"Food tastes are revealing of people's history and attitude, of the traditions they follow, break, or mix. I am into transformative and reactive phenomena in nature, the labs or the kitchen, as much as these cultural mixes. I worked in bars as a mixologist, and as an artist I play with materials, substances and technological devices. In my DJ sets I specialise in mixing across conflicting genres and bpms. This constant assemblage, mixing and reworking is intensely present across my sonic and visual work. It's an artistic, scientific and culinary joy."