Editors’ Blog

Sites We Love: Recollecting Adams

Friday, April 10th, 2009

By Jessica Naudziunas

Between Tweets, Facebook wall posts, up to the minute news headlines in your inbox, and email replies that need to be sent NOW, the past is becoming more difficult to care about… not to mention finding time to talk about yesteryear with those we spent it with. The oral history-cum-visual storytelling site Recollecting Adams provides an old fashioned cure-all for media saturated people of the future.

Creator/animator Marianne Petit is the person to thank for this folk inspired project. Along with the people of Adams, Massachusetts, Petit seeks to find what happened before the Internet… before life stories were limited to only 140 condensed characters. With seven episodes to date, Recollecting Adams has chronicled a group of seven old-timers who tell their life stories around the frame of the town of Adams, the Berkshire Mill that put the town on the map, and the little joys in life that are lost on most people these days; vacationing nine miles away to spend summer months at a swimming hole, remembering their grandparents’ quirks, and a tale of first kiss turned marriage vows.

Each Adams story is told with audio and low-tech animation. With Petit’s folk-etching, pencil, watercolor style, and low frames per minute it’s easy to get carried back to simpler times. The animation is clean and minimal, and the stories are, too, but there is something marvelous in the quaint, cottage style that might just win over the urge to check your email for the 8th time this hour.

Marianne Petit lives part-time in Adams, Massachusetts. The other half of her week is spent teaching within NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. In Adams, Petit lives out her joyfully creative side co-running Greylock Arts, an arts organization and exhibition space. Right now, Petit’s time is divided again between the present day and the storied history of the town of Adams and it’s dyed-in-the-wool Adamses.

Recollecting Adams was commissioned by the interactive art technology project, Networked Realities.

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