Binge Culture is a contemporary performance company based in Wellington Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa, established in 2008. Binge Culture experiments with performance and ways to embrace the audience; how to invite them into the present space and unedited moment and make them agents within the experience. We do this so people feel empowered to lead more critically engaged lives and have more agency in facing the complexity and absurdity of the world we live in.
Binge Culture has a core company of five members plus associate artists, led by Creative Director Joel Baxendale. An advisory (cup)board (of pandas) provides mentorship and strategic advice to the company.
Ralph Upton, Fiona McNamara, Oliver Devlin, Joel Baxendale (creative director), Rachel Baker
Karin McCracken, Freya Daly Sadgrove
CUPBOARD OF PANDAS
Claire Mabey, Claire O'Loughlin (founding member), Elise Sterbeck, Dan Slevin
We have worked with a huge number of wonderful people in a variety of roles over the years. These credits are listed in the individual project pages but in particular we would like to note:
Simon Haren (co-founder and company member 2008-15), Gareth Hobbs, Isobel MacKinnon, Melanie Hamilton, Meggan Rollandi
Many, many other people have helped and supported the company throughout. Kei te mihi mātou ki a tātou katoa.
Our work and process is formally experimental; we find value in failure and make use of restrictions to unlock creativity.
Our work is playful; we use humour, intimacy and disruptions to find alternative angles from which to observe reality.
Our work is intellectually rigorous and politically and socially cognisant, in an effort to have a progressive effect on people and the world.
Our work exists across forms and modes of performance, we are unconfined by geographical space or theatrical convention. We are committed to forging new ways of engaging audiences and giving them real stakes in each performance.
We make work that is responsive to physical space, whether traditional stage or otherwise, as if it were site-specific.
We use technology to overcome barriers that constrain live performance and use performance to reimagine the use of technology.
We work across mediums that variously combine live performance, audio, film, games and mobile apps.
Binge Culture is distinctive because we acknowledge and include the audience in the action, seeking to give them stakes, even agency, in our performances.
We play in a space between reality and fiction, twisting it so that it confounds expectations. We often perform versions of ourselves with both self-deprecation and sincerity, in order to critique culture and behaviour.
We are known for working at the limits of performance. We look for the untapped performative qualities in the everyday and push them beyond their logical conclusion.
We make use of games and rules to orchestrate risk and surprise. We are fascinated by the performative potential of recontextualisation and juxtaposition to create the unexpected.
Our process is collaborative and iterative. We develop work by doing, reflecting, and doing again differently, in the spirit of openness and generosity.