Orbita is a collective of poets, photographers, artists, and musicians, founded in 1999 by Alexander Zapol, Vladimir Leibgam, Artur Punte, Vladimir Svetlov, Sergej Timofejev, and Zhorzh Uallik. It manifested in several issues of the "Orbita" almanac and the publication of numerous bilingual poetry collections. This led to the launch of the "Orbītas bibliotēka" book series, overseen by its editor-in-chief Alexander Zapol. The project "Talka" focused on publishing photobooks is led by Anna Volkova and Vladimir Svetlov. In the meantime, the group began to experiment with collective performance formats (appearing with musicians and refining the idea of “the poetic show”), sound (publication of several CDs; creation of sound-art installations), and the combination of text with moving images (video poetry). Later, objects and installations for contemporary art exhibitions were added to these creative endeavours.
Throughout all of these developments, creative focus has always remained on text and its permutations (hence the term “text-group”). Joint projects are realized according to the principle of “collective consciousness.” Orbita’s core members have remained unchanged over the years with the exception of Zhorzh Uallik, whose departure from Latvia in 2010 led to diminished activity in the group. The designer Vladimir Leibgam has played a special role in the creation of the group’s visual identity. Meanwhile, the circle of authors, designers, musicians, and artists who collaborate with Orbita has continued to expand, rendering the group an integral part of the Latvian cultural scene. For many years Inga Bodnarjuka-Mrazauskas has been the group’s manager and, indeed, guardian angel, planning and developing the majority of its projects.
Books published by Orbita are primarily bilingual editions of poetry and photography albums. Their chief distinctive feature is experimentation with format, as is especially evident in publications of works by the Orbita members themselves. These include: a set of two volumes held together by hidden magnets, with translations of text into a “visual language” by 10 Latvian artists (Semyon Khanin, Вплавь / Peldus / Afloat); a book featuring fold-out pages, chromatic distinctions between translations and originals, and a table of contents in the form of an infographic (Поэтические посвящения Артура Пунте / Artūra Puntes poētiskie veltījumi / Artur Punte’s Poetic Dedications); a book of textual collage in three languages with photographs (Vladimir Svetlov’s б/у / Lietots / Used); a book accompanied by a notepad (Sergej Timofejev’s Реплика / Replika / Remark); a book of Latvian poetry, translated by Alexander Zapol, with originals and translations laid out in facing-page format yet with reversed orientation, top to bottom, so that the volume may be read simultaneously by bilingual pairs sitting opposite one another (За нас / Par mums / To Us).
Each publication is created in close collaboration with a designer. These have included Vladimir Leibgam, Aleksey Murashko, Mārtiņš Ratniks, Tom Mrazauskas, Rūta Briede, Artis Briedis, Līva Rutmane, Zigmunds Lapsa, Ernests Mucenieks, Ieva Skuja, Kaspars Mūrelis, Valters Verners, and Ilva Kļaviņa.
The group has published: five almanacs (including a CD and a compilation of video poetry); the anthology Modern Russian Poetry in Latvia; the collection of short prose works Проза / Proza; the anthology 12 Poets from Russia; and the poetry collection Науда / Deņgi. Other publications include: a collection of prose by Andrey Levkin; a book of essays by the cinema critic Dmitri Rantsev; a collection of poems in Russian by Ojars Vacietis, books of poetry by Zhorzh Uallik, Oleg Zolotov, and Inga Gaile; Sergej Timofejev’s poetry collection Почти фотографии / Almost Photographs and Stereo, as well as Semyon Khanin’s poetry collection Только что / Just Now and Artūrs Punte book Jērcēnu pagasta nezāļu herbārijs / A Herbarium of Jērcēni Parish Weeds. In 2013, Orbita launched a poetry series presenting local authors who had not previously published books in Latvia, including Jelena Glazova, Dmitri Sumarokov, Oleg Lentsoy, Evgeni Nelesh, and Alexander Menshikov.
The "Orbita biblioteka" is an ongoing series overseen by general editor Alexander Zapol that presents contemporary Latvian literature and translations. The series has published books by Arvis Viguls, Kirill Kobrin, Kikōne, Andris Kuprišs, Elvīra Bloma, Andis Surgunts, Vilis Kasims, Andrei Sen-Senkov, Lauris Veips, Elīna Bākule-Veira, Andris Kalnozols, Semyon Khanin, Leonid Dobychin, Robert Walser, Arkadii Dragomoshchenko, Richard Brautigan, Marija Luīze Meļķe and Guntis Berelis.
The first photography album published by Orbita was Laila Halilova’s 36 EXP (2006), edited by Alexander Zapol, Vladimir Leibgam, and Vladimir Svetlov. It was recognized with an award for best photography book of the year in Latvia.
In general, Orbita’s photography books (edited by Vladimir Svetlov and Anna Volkova) are characterized by their distinctive conceptual approach. Alexander Gronsky and Ksenia Babushkina’s Schema explores the possibilities of photographic perception. The series Public Space is dedicated to public spaces of the Soviet era. Māra Brašmane’s Centrāltirgus' consists of documentary shots of Riga’s Central Market. An album of Vladimir Svetlov’s work presents staged photographs that reflect life at the resort Rīgas Līcis. Andrejs Strokins’ Palladium is a compilation of pictures drawn from a photography archive found in a former movie theatre. In British architectural critic Owen Hatherley’s book Baltijas atklātnes, personal, accidental snapshots illustrate the textual material. The group has also published the album Rock by the artist Roman Korovin; the collection of texts and photographs Talka; and Glass Strenči, which presents the archive of the Strenči town photography workshop from the collection of the Latvian Museum of Photography (this last edition was listed as one of the 10 best photobooks of the year at the 2020 Paris Photo — Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards).
The above are just the highlights of Orbita’s publishing activities. The complete circle of authors published by Orbita is far wider.
For more information see this pdf of the catalogue of Orbita publications up to 2017, as well as the online bookshopTalka.
A number of Orbita’s works, in one way or another, utilize the internet environment and software. These include synthetic compositions employing already existing IT solutions and works that demand the creation of specialized art-software, as well as internet and broadcasting environments. As a prerequisite for reading a text in one work by Sergej Timofejev, Я — текст / I am Text, readers must make it through a retro-style shooter computer game (graphics developed by cartoon artist Edmunds Jansons). Alexander Zapol’s and Vladimir Leibgam’s internet project Что-то с координацией движений / Something With the Coordination of Movement takes the form of a traditionally structured poetry collection by Semyon Khanin that in fact includes hardly noticeable text glitches, products of intentional computer design, which viewers experience as a distortion in perception. In Alexander Zapol’s and Daniil Cherkassky’s В Римчике / In Rimi Supermarket, text entered into a Google Translate window is modified and reproduced by a voice robot whose speech evokes that of an actor, with its own distinctive character and discursive personality.
Another example of artistic expression by utilitarian means can be found in a project undertaken by Artur Punte in collaboration with a number of Latvian poets. Together, the collective broke into a televised chat room, transforming the running footer into poetically charged texts. Or consider a personal poetic service that makes it possible to compose texts outside our habitual 2D environment: this is the work entitled “Poe3D” (see section: “Installations and Objects”) — an interactive tool for creating textual models that can be reproduced on a 3D printer. The Poem of Čierkurkalns, a collaborative project involving all Orbita authors, presented another mechanism for building 3D texts. This was the assembly of a database of street inscriptions (photos of signboards, graffiti, etc.) from one of Riga’s most geographically hyperorganized districts; a user interface made it possible to compose poetry from this “street dictionary.” A chain of once popular internet-cafés served as the basis for a project called Cybergraffitti, created by Artur Punte together with Alexander Yakovlev and Voldemārs Punte. This undertaking involved the unsanctioned installation of special “templates” onto computers, setting them to transmit the colour palettes from websites visited by users onto the project’s server — a special application visualized this data in the form of large, abstract video projections.
Web environments and infrastructure can be used not only to create multimedia works — it can also be deployed as a basis for such works in their own right. This was the case with the poetry radio station “Marx FM” (2014), now available as a streaming audio channel. The station was originally set up as a pirate FM radio transmitter. For a week, it broadcast poetic texts in three languages (read by Orbita authors) as part of the Survival Kit festival in Riga. A makeshift radio transmitter built by the radio enthusiast Vladislav Bogdanov was installed in the attic of a central Riga building; an unlicensed antenna was mounted onto the building’s roof, reaching a radius of 4—5 km. At roughly the same time, in collaboration with Alexander Landman, an iPad application was developed that enabled virtual walks along Miera Street and, to the accompaniment of fragments of music by Jēkabs Nīmanis, listen to the voices of three Latvian poets in various sound environments (café, backstreet, park); the poets were Jānis Elsbergs, Sergej Timofejev, and Andris Breže; each read poems mentioning Miera Street. The 2018 installation “Ieraks_tīts”, created for the Latvian Museum of Literature, is yet another example of integration of existing software into Orbita projects. Here, “PhonoPaper”, an application created by the Russian programmer Alexander Zolotov, was adapted for the mythopoetic reconstruction of a hypothetical historical artifact — a non-existent pre-war recording of a poem by Aleksandrs Čaks.
Orbita employs a range of performative practices, further developments and elaborations of the format of a traditional poetry reading, in order to transpose the act of authorial reading into novel audio-visual environments. From its founding, the group has experimented broadly with methods to emancipate the figure of the poet reading from a stage. The group’s first performance “The Shortest Poetry Reading” (1999) coincided with the formation of the group itself. Often, Orbita’s primary aim in performance practices is to shift the viewer’s focus from the archetypal figure of the reader to the poetic text. The group’s history includes many examples of performances with a wide range of musicians in many styles — from academic to club music. On some occasions, these partnerships were improvised (with Stanislav Yudin, Platon Buravitsky, Jan Maksin, Selffish, and others). At other times they have been expressed in a more durable form: Orbita has published audio albums (CDs «Орбита 2»; «Орбита 4»; sound engineering by Ivars Vīgners) and video works (DVD «Орбита 4»; the videos «Улица Таллинас» / “Tallinas Street”, «Мужчина с Женщиной» / “Man with Woman”, and others). Orbita has also performed with its “house” musical group Saules Sound in production of an hour-long live programme.
Orbita’s performances regularly extend far beyond simple accompaniment for a poetry reading, into the realm of actionism and theatre. Take, for example, Semyon Khanin’s performance “One Face Theatre”, which involved a miniature stage with a complete set of theatrical attributes (a tiny curtain, lighting, etc.), presenting only the head of the poet to viewers. The “Soviet Retro Disco” performance of Sergej Timofejev and Artur Punte reconstructed the “Lecture-Discotheque” format, popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Orbita has carried out a number of mock-live broadcasts (for instance, during the presentation of their first almanac); the group has also used actual video broadcasting techniques, as it did in the stream-show «Комментаторы реальности» / “Reality Commentators”, during which an online transmission from four web cameras located at various points in Latvia was accompanied by improvised dialogues, commentaries, and poetic texts.
In Orbita, the poet is often not only a performer, but also the director of a poetic performance. In this regard, one might mention the performance “UPS. About an Unwritten Poem” (2014), directed by Artur Punte — the lead protagonist was played by actor Viesturs Roziņš. Other performative stagings by Punte, such as «Переселенцы» / “Settlers'' and “Victims of Multitasking” — involved similarly strict instructions for the performer, while maintaining the possibility for improvisation. Many Orbita performances are less scripted programs than modular formative playbooks that, depending on the occasion, include various poems, languages and sound components. In the case of the “FM Slow Show”, the local radio waves of the city where the performance takes place play an important role in shaping any given iteration. At the floating gallery Noass, during a mini-festival to which Orbita contributed during the 2017 Days of Poetry, the collective did not perform in group mode, but instead, each participant prepared an independent multimedia performance (sometimes in partnership with an invited guest author).
The uniqueness of certain performances stems directly from the location. This was the case, for example, in a performance that the group staged at the venue of the Riga Circus during its closure for reconstruction. This work, entitled “Like Thronging Beasts”, deployed the squeaking of old chairs as an expressive device, so that viewers and performers literally swapped places. The group’s newest performance, “Motopoiesis” takes the voice of the poet and the dynamics of the spoken text as the main sources for an inventively mediated sound and visual framework. In the performance, the voice triggers electronic and mechanical noise-making mechanisms; translated subtitles serve as a visual aid and are read via magnifying glass. The recording of the performance Motopoiesis, presented as a 50-minute concert film, had its Latvian premiere at the Riga International Film Festival in 2022. The international premiere took place at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India.
The group’s performative practices have also been expressed in the genre of dramatic writing. Orbita’s members have individually written dramatic works: Alexander Zapol composed texts for Vladislav Nastashev’s Sņeguročka performance; Artur Punte, together with co-author Zane Volkinšteine, created the drama/game The Day After Oil, which was presented at the Dirty Deal Teatro; and Sergej Timofejev received the 2014 Spēlmaņu nakts theatrical award for his libretto for the opera Mikhail and Mikhail Play Chess. The four poets together co-authored the play Five Songs About Memory, which Vladislav Nastavshev directed for the Mikhail Chekhov Riga Russian Theater in 2020. This production took the form of what was “to some degree a frankly comical, to some degree a deeply touching journey along the byways of personal memory: protagonists moved towards their own goals, trying on various masks, joining together various fragmentary reminiscences, relying on associative links, referring to scholarly research, turning to professional therapists for help, and composing commemorative addresses”. The text of the play included a number of poetic works by Orbita members, performed by the Accolada choir of the Riga Children’s Centre. This project found a continuation in an installation titled The Dog Suspected Something — an endless dialogue about everything between two worldly-wise televisions.
The combination of poetic text with moving images has become a popular trend in recent decades. Orbita should be seen as the pioneer of video poetry in the post-Soviet region. The originating impulse for this innovative activity, that dates to a moment before Orbita was founded as a project, was a video work called “Orchestral Rehearsal” — the result of a partnership between poet Sergej Timofejev and director Viktors Vilks (1993-1994). In this work, amateur film footage was transferred onto Betacam along with the author’s reading of his poems as well as a specially produced soundtrack. Other Orbita poets were also eager to bring together contemporary poetry with the mass video culture of the 80s and 90s, giving birth to an experimental hybrid in the early 2000s — video poetry. A first video poetry festival “Word in Motion” took place in Riga in 2001, introducing the public to compositions by Orbita authors, as well as works by poets and video artists from the USA, Western Europe, and Russia. The festival’s programme was subsequently published as a VHS. The “Word in Motion” festival took place several more times over the following decade, until 2011, as it increasingly began to resemble a multimedia show involving poetic material. In 2005, the multimedia almanac «Орбита 4 / Orbita 4» came out, including a DVD collection of new video works. Orbita continues to create new works in this genre — they are published on the web, showcased in festivals, thematic screenings, and video art exhibitions.
One of the primary artistic devices uniting many of these works is a unique approach to the juxtaposition of moving images and poetic texts. These unfold in parallel, yet without giving the impression of mutual illustration (see, for example: «Поговори со мной...» / “Talk To Me”; «Когда кончится джаз...» / “When Jazz Ends”). The result is two tracks of meaning that do not so much derive from one another as mutually complement one another, facilitating the viewer’s perception of a complex, synthetic composition. Orbita video works draw on a wide range of genres: from animation («Не будет праздников...» / “Neither tomorrow nor today...”; «Света» / “Sveta”; «Физик» / “The Physicist”) to documentary video («Гастарбайтеры» / “Guest-workers”). A retrospective of Orbita video poetry was showcased in the first Riga International Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2018 (curated by Katerina Gregos).
Examples of Orbita video poetry works can be viewed here.
Orbita’s installations and art objects are closely linked with other categories of activity carried out by the text-group. For its sound system, one performance of the “FM Slow Show” utilized the group’s audio-poetic installation «Радиостена» / “Radiowall” — a sonic panorama of 90 radio receivers, mounted on a 20-metre wall, transmitting local radio stations as well as poems read out by the Orbita authors, prerecorded urban sounds from various cities, and short musical fragments specially generated for the installation by the composer Linda Leimane. In the installation «б/у / used» by Vladimir Svetlov, visual material from his book of the same title (see “Books”) found its way into an exhibition space, extending its contents onto the gallery’s walls and a TV screen. Semyon Khanin’s book «Опущенные подробности» / “Lowered details” was the basis for another eponymous work: a 1.5-square-metre photograph that, when folded, transformed into a book of texts that visitors could take home. A book by the same author, «А вам не кажется, что эти ваши пять минут как-то слишком сильно затянулись?» / “Don’t you think your five minutes have gone on far too long?”, the text of which transformed into a three-dimensional structure, as one progressed through it, became a part of an installation entitled “The Poetry of Residential Blocks” (Zapol/Rutmane).
From video, to exhibition object, to online platform and performance — this was the path followed by the project “3D Poetry” (Alexander Zapol, in collaboration with Aleksander Landman, Līva Rutmane and Eduard Ryazantsev). Initially created as a video work, this 3D poem was then transformed into an exhibition object; this in turn became the prototype for the “Poe3D” interactive website for spatial text composition; the first printing of such a poem on a 3D printer became, in itself, a performance in the form of a workshop.
Polymediality has been at the heart of all of the group’s endeavours from the start. Orbita poetic texts are continually migrating into other media: the work entitled “Poetry Event” (Survival Kit Festival, 2019) was a public reading that no one was able to get into. A range of expressions of the act of reading poetry were examined in works included in the show “Where Do Poems Come From?” (2018). Directly or indirectly, ironically or in all earnestness, the elements of this show sought to answer the question posed in its title. The show was nominated for the 2019 Purvītis Award and received the Sergei Kurekhin Award for best media object.
Sergej Timofejev’s poems became the basis for a work entitled “Plan A, Plan B”, which endeavoured to demonstrate the potential of human imagination in a totalitarian society, and for an installation called “Time room” (Timofejev and Punte, in collaboration with Vladimir Leschov): an illuminated room, a cyclical trap of the quotidian, composed of multiple screens projecting short animated loops from everyday life. In another installation, Semyon Khanin’s poem served, in a shop window, as a textual frame for a photography and drawing exhibit by Alexander Zapol, «М как Метод» / “M for Method”.
One of the methods by which Orbita has introduced poetry into the broader world has been via assignment to objects of the function of “delivering” poetic texts to the reader. The first such interactive low-tech object was at the centre of the project “Poetry-to-Go” (Zapol, 2007), which involved several pairs of flip-flops and an ink tray. This was in fact an autonomous, mobile means of printing, in which a silicon stamp on each flip-flop would leave the imprint of a bilingual poem; one sole of the pair produced the poem’s original, and the other, its translation. During the 2008 financial crisis, a work by the name “Power-Independent Poetry” (Punte/Timofejev) used exercise bikes to generate electricity for the projection of poetic texts. In another work, titled “Pareizi” / ”Correctly”, a looped fax machine produced a monoverse, creating a pattern by printing the same line over and over. In the collective installation “The Twinkling Crystal of Revelation”, 20 electric fans with a pre-programmed text on their blades produced an ever-changing and twinkling “message” along with a flow of air. In “Actual Spacescape”, a satellite lost in space transmitted text messages in four languages to a console for printing queuing numbers. The series of works titled «Поэзия в интерьере» / “Poetry in an Interior” (Punte with Voļatovskis and Sysoev) consisted of fabricated, rather than accidentally acquired, everyday objects with a variety of poetic functions. Similarly, in the installation-hypothesis “Ieraks-tīts” (see section “Code, Web and Airwaves”) a machine utilizing ANS technology (invented in the 1930s) to read text was specially fabricated.
Many of Orbita’s projects have contributed to the thorough examination of Riga’s urban landscape. In the 1990s, Alexander Zapol produced the work “Riga Underground Subway,” that sought to mythologize Riga’s cityscape. His series of works «Пространство на время, или Топология времени» / “Space for Time, or Topology of Time” deals with the past of corner buildings and the future of street crossings. In the first of these «Углы, ставшие центрами» / “Corners that Became Centres” (with Svetlov), the Orbita authors examined how glass and concrete shopping centres had replaced two-storey wooden houses on street corners, adopting the perspective of the “corner theme” from the poetry of Aleksandrs Čaks. In a second series “What Should Corners Be Called?” (with Rutmane), they suggested giving corners at the intersections of two streets their own names, consisting of a compound of the separate names of the streets. Upon official proposal to the city, the project was rejected, but the authors organized an art action placing a plaque at the intersection of Gertrudes Street and Terbatas Street naming it “Terbtrudes Corner”. Punte and Timofejev dedicated an aroma-poetic work entitled “The Ghost of the Bakery” to a house that disappeared from the corner of Brīvības Street and Miera Street. In this work, the scent of freshly-baked bread maintained the sensibility of a lost element of the city. For another project, passers-by on Aristide Briand St. could stop to become the audience of a dialogue between two vintage televisions in the front window of a gallery (the installation The Dog Suspected Something) — the televisions, too, at times offered comments on happenings on that very street. The most ambitious Orbita project to examine the poetics of the cityscape was the project “The Poem of Čierkurkalns” (see the section "Code, Web, and Airwaves”).
Almost all Orbita projects are examinations of the frontiers of the poetic text. In «Парад "Парада"» / “The Parade of the Parade” (Timofejev/Kļaviņa), a poem by Gunārs Saliņš is presented in syntagmatic plane; the poem’s lines — each in its own frame — spread out into a continuous series. In «Два сонета из Лапуты» / “Two Sonnets from Laputa”, presented in Venice, the authors composed texts out of everyday objects, shaping them in the pattern of a sonnet, including its strophic and rhyming structure. At the Logos exhibition in Pāvilosta a text formatted as encyclopaedia entries, located in the windows of the gallery, was positioned literally at the margins of the exhibition space, where light continuously reinstated and distorted the visual image of the text. Subsequently, the exhibition 2020: Perspectives of Eternity was a study of the fragility of information media. This exhibit was dedicated to the interpretation of the multigeneric holdings of the Latvian National Library. It was something of a time machine: spectators were able to examine various recent artifacts (books, tickets to the theatre or to the movies, programs, menus, calendars, etc.), all dated from the start of 2020, as though from a temporal remove of 100 years.
The phenomenon of artificial waves – from natural processes and fluctuations in the stock market to the waves of the pandemic – inspired various interpretations in the group’s kinetic installation Waves Watching. This exhibition marked a new field of artistic interest for Orbita – observing the wave-like nature of the universe and recording environmental signals – which resulted, among other things, in the installation From the Air.
Orbita performs not only as a collective of authors but also as an organizer of artistic processes, creating temporary platforms for various projects. The festival “Word in Motion” (2001—2011) emerged as a platform for video poetry as a genre, and subsequently mutated into more fluid forms of textual and visual interaction. The festival’s first iteration in 2001 concluded with what many now remember as a radical live event on the top floor of the Riga TV tower, including an experimental fashion show and improvised performances by authors, DJs, and VJs.
For the series of pop-up exhibitions «Rīgas dzejas karte» / “Riga Poetry Map” (2013—2014), curated by Artur Punte, Orbita co-produced a range of multimedia works and also presented those of invited authors including foreign guests. These short shows and mini-festivals, which periodically took place over 18 months in unorthodox locations that perfectly characterized Riga’s urban spaces (an office, a flat, a barge, a workshop, etc.), brought together works that examined various urban phenomena through artistic text, realized via a variety of media. "The Poetic Map" became a curatorial continuation of the earlier urban soundscapes Helsinki and Copenhagen recorded by Artūrs Punte, where he applied an experimental approach to writing in a language the author doesn't know.
As part of the annual Days of Poetry — an event taking place each September — Sergej Timofejev curated the project «Север—Юг» / “North—South”, in which a new vector of geographical and cultural possibilities was offered in place of the habitual division of East-West. How important are the poetics of the North or South to authors who live in those regions? What can the North and the South give to one another? Running from 2008 until 2016, the project sought to answer these questions by bringing authors from Georgia, Estonia, Uzbekistan, Lithuania, Algeria, and Iceland to Latvia.
In parallel to this project, the idea emerged to introduce contemporary poetry from Russia to Latvia. From 2010 until 2014, a broad spectrum of Russian authors visited Riga as part of the project “Ambassadors of Poetry” (also curated by Timofejev): from conceptualists to poets of the “New Epic”; from disciples of accentual-syllabic verse to free-verse artists; from classic authors of “unofficial poetry” to the generation of twenty-somethings. Many Latvian “poetry stars” contributed to the translation of works by the visiting Russian authors. Some of these translations were published on the Internet in the course of the events, the project‘s completion led to the idea of publishing them in a book. Hence 12 Poets from Russia, the first such compilation of Russian poetry in independent Latvia, came to be.
In 2014, the gallery Istaba hosted the exhibition «переводы стихотворений на визуальный язык» / “Poems Translated Into Visual Language”, presenting works from the book Вплавь / Afloat. This show (curated by Alexander Zapol and Līva Rutmane) also presented works by well-known Latvian artists that could not be included in the book, such as those by Maija Kurševa, Reinis Virtmanis, Evelīna Deičmane, Kaspars Groševs, Olga Vasilyeva, Armands Zelčs, and others.
The interaction between text and image is of constant interest to Orbita. A show by Roman Korovin, “Right in the Middle” (2006), organized by Vladimir Svetlov and Artur Punte, took place in the electric workshops of Riga’s Andrejsala (where Orbita residencies and headquarters were located at the time). These narratives, consisting of low-fi photographs with captions and videos, as well as the artist’s editorial work, elicited extensive professional praise. The show was recognized with an award for best photography show of the year. The role of commentary in artistic work and the perception of stereotypes were the main themes of the exhibition “Comments”, created in collaboration with Roman Korovin, Vladimir Leibgam, Anna Volkova, Alexander Zapol, and Jelena Glazova (2010, “Kim?” gallery; curated by Vladimir Svetlov).