The Orbita text group was created in 1999 by Russian-speaking (and writing) Riga poets Artūrs Punte, Semion Hanin, Sergei Timofeyev, Zhorzh Uallik and Vladimir Svetlov. In the course of time, bringing together representatives of other fields of art, it has emerged as a union of poets, artists, musicians, photographers and media artists. Through its diverse creative activities, it plays an important role in the contemporary art of Latvia, creating performances and installations, as well as publishing bilingual literature, collections of articles, photobooks and research literature, and creating a successful co-operation between Russian- and Latvian-speaking poets and artists of Latvia.
The book is an attempt to capture the creative quest of Orbita artists in the form of a unique dictionary, creating entries in which they are viewed from various aspects. All entries begin with the letter “M”, seen in a symbolic way on the cover of the book in the still from the video “A Single Letter Poem” created by Sergei Timofeyev in 2007. First of all, it can be interpreted as a Roman numeral, which marks a passage of time – a millennium – the end of which, according to the authors of the book “created fuss and pathos in society, and encouraged one to imagine and find new paths by overcoming conceptual boundaries, using new technical means, thinking differently and not maintaining illusions. It was a time when we were not able to consider and understand change – we could only follow it, recording the meaning of events and our position within them using the most unexpected metaphors – in various materials, modalities, media.”
Orbita as the fruit of this time is trying to create a new poetry that exists in the area between the literary and visual arts and thus is able to better express the different identities and experiences of the poets themselves
The authors’ text in the “entries” alternates with interviews with representatives of the Orbita group Sergei Timofeyev, Vladimir Svetlov, Artūrs Punte and Alexander Zapol (literary pseudonym Semion Hanin).
The books of the series “Studija Library” give an insight into the contemporary art scene of Latvia in the late 20th century and the 21st century. The bilingual Latvian/English publications include a basic text, an interview and a selection of reproductions. The series was launched in 2008; it now comprises 16 books.