Objektiv #13

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The Flexible Image comes as Part I and Part II. These issues will look at the current state of the (photographic) image, as it seems to expand into two distinct, yet related manifestations: the image as text/sign versus the image as operation.

Objektiv #13 focuses on t
he image as operation: the image as touch, gesture and act.

Whereas on the one hand, the image seems to work increasingly as a sign, emblematized by the emoji, on the other hand it is also increasingly being employed as a portal to various kinds of actions, typified by the on-screen icon. Thus the image can no longer be understood as an enclosed, representational entity that primarily addresses the faculty of vision. Rather, it is as much working as an operating tool, and addressing the full sensory capacity of the body, and touch in particular, thereby being entwined with the gesture. This is the kind of image that artist Harun Farocki has called “the operative image”: that is, “images that do not represent an object, but rather are part of an operation”.


Founded in 2009 by Nina Strand, Ida Kierulf and Susanne Østby Sæther, the Scandinavian journal Objektiv is a biannual art publication with a focus on photography and film. When we launched the very first issue in 2010, our mission was to act like a time-capsule, documenting where contemporary lens-based art is today. We adopted a gallery-in-a-journal format, where we could show, discuss and challenge photography, film and video art. Since the beginning we have asked artists to reflect on the medium in conversations with other artists, and for every issue we have invited an artist to make an exhibition within the magazine.