Last spring I applied for the Seltzer Family Digital Media Award grant in hopes of receiving support for my Visual Studies Senior Thesis. As a Visual Studies major, my thesis project consists of both a written and visual component, the visual naturally exemplifying the written thesis. Now, preparing to graduate and in the midst of my thesis project, it’s wild to look back and realize how as a recipient of the grant my project has evolved.
I’m sure like most research goes, the more I learned the more I found my project taking shape in ways I least expected. The exciting thing is that I can see how far I have actually come—research is truly taking place. Any preconceived ideas around answers to my research questions, and (in my situation) about how I would visually communicate my ideas, were quickly thrown out the window.
In my experience, the Seltzer Family Digital Media Award provided me not only with tools that could document my research, but tools/technology that allowed me to think throughout the process of my inquiry, actually assisting in my research. I was able to use the technologies as a research tool and a means of presentation as opposed to simply as a final demonstration. Between the interdisciplinary nature of my major and the experience I have had with my thesis project, I believe art can function as a valuable research method, as well as a form of communication. Many thanks to the Seltzer Family for this opportunity!