Carly Whitaker is an emerging digital practitioner based in Johannesburg, South Africa who specialises in digital interactive media. She is an artist, researcher and lecturer. She completed her BA Fine Arts (Honours) in 2008 and then went on to do her MA in Digital Interactive Media (with distinction) 2012, both completed at Wits University in Johannesburg. She has lectured at a variety of institutions such as Vega, University of Pretoria and Wits University. She is currently based full time at the Open Window Institute in the Interaction Arts School.
She has participated in numerous local exhibitions at spaces such as the Everard Read Gallery (CT), Absa Gallery (JHB) and No End Contemporary Art Space (JHB). She has participated in residencies such as Floating Reverie’s //2Weeks and her personal curatorial projects include Floating Reverie’s //2Weeks and the subsequent Post-Digital Exhibitions in 2015 and 2016 where she acts as the curator/programmer. Art Fairs include Turbine Art Fair 2014. Her creative practice explores authenticity in the digital age, communication and relationship dynamics online. She is interested in manifesting this dynamic through the online medium and translating her work from the digital medium to the physical realm. She started Floating Reverie in 2014 as a response to the lack of residencies available to digital artists in South Africa. It offers an online digital residency program for 2 weeks, every month where artists are invited to participate and an annual post-digital exhibition is curated. Featured articles in publications include Technoetics, edited by Roy Ascott (2014) and conference attending via a video presentation in Nsukka, Nigeria. Carly Whitaker is currently extending her practice and theoretical research into new areas – whilst maintaining a firm interest in digital art, curating and networked media in South Africa.
Her research, curatorial and creative practices are all connected and related. Through her work Carly engages in a constant exploration of how we communicate through media and the ways we use technology to create dialogues between ourselves and our environments. In doing so, she addresses contemporary online digital tendencies and discourses. Of the digital space and digital art, she says “I love the scope that it affords you as an artist and how it is so intrinsically linked to contemporary culture. We come from a generation who may be considered as digital natives, so much of who we are is rooted in the digital medium, online, on television etc. and filters through our lives and our own networks. In my own work, I love being able to capture that effect and interaction using the medium.”