Limited Run is an exercise in interaction

by Roger Catlin, Hartford Courant, ArtWeek Section, Thursday, May 20, 2010, p.18.

Spring is the time when many get back into running, artists among them. Hartford native Laura Nova has turned to running in a big way in recent projects, triggering a mechanism that sings a finisher’s name celestially at the end of a race at New York’s Riverside Park, or running up to four hours a day on a treadmill in “Runner’s High,” part of the Praying Project in New York in 2005.

And now it’s your turn. In “Limited Run,” opening today at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Nova had an indoor track built inside one of the medium-size rooms at the gallery. Visitors can walk or run around the 20-meter loop with banked corners that may be more enticing to skateboarders than distance runners. Make it around once, and a fire bell rings. To run a mile, you’ll have to go around 80 times (with 80 dings).

Don’t dog it; a camera will chronicle the track’s use—streamed live at www.limitedrunproject.com—as typical workout music plays (direct from “Jock Jams, Vol. 1”).

Even without runners, the black track in the white room resembles a pop-art installation; its stencil-style lane numbers further push a Jasper Johns connection. Nova, who lives in New York’s lower East Side and is an assistant professor in the creative art and technology program at Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, N.J., will be on hand to give a couple of “walk-and-talks” on the track June 3 at noon and June 7 at 6 p.m. She’ll also speak after a matinee screening of the running classic “Chariots of Fire” and be there at a members’ opening June 8 at 6 p.m. –Roger Catlin