aesthetics, being used in a conventional way, is the hegemonic understanding of something “beautiful brilliant artistically impressing important expressive literary relevant” – or the opposite of all this

how could any aesthetic evaluation be beyond political impact and significance?

to put it more radically: how can something racist be beautiful?

in discussions on and about racist linguistic actions white people are claiming for themselves to be experts for everything. they say that certain uses of terms or texts are literarily and aesthetically important. this point is still made even if Black people and PoC demand not to use certain terms anymore because they are racist. it is argued that single terms cannot simply be changed – they are evaluated as historically aesthetic and hence untouchable. what does that mean for what aesthetics is!?

it seems as if beauty and aesthetics existed as values and imaginations beyond concrete political effects, political actions, concrete situations, discriminations – or even beyond statements of discriminated people about their usage. who is still evaluating something as beautiful if it is discriminating!? does that mean that beauty is part of the discriminating regime?

if a white person is using a (however historicized) term that discriminates Black persons, in what way could that ever be “aesthetic”? what kind of aesthetics would that be? aesthetics of racism?

how is it possible that feminist language changes – x-forms, underscore forms – are interpreted as non-aesthetical, if, at the same time, it is so evident that these are forms chosen by genderistically discriminated people? whose understandings of aesthetics are thus being normalized and whose are being evaluated as affected_emotional_extreme? are aesthetics privileged and discriminating normalizations?

aesthetics in a de_politicizing usage, and decontextualized from the presence and effect and power of structural discriminations is thus itself discriminatory, structural, artistically playing down and presented as coming from an decontextualized other sphere. such an understanding of aesthetics constitutes a politically structural discriminatory understanding of art. xart splitta does not share this understanding but tries to challenge it.

inspiring readings: send us your ideas and references to texts you know!


the more we are thinking about it, the more insecure we feel about what art means to us.

there are so many kinds of art which we do not identify with when understanding xart splitta as artistically active.

what we are thinking about when talking about art:

  • modes of empowering interventions
  • creating actions and expressions against interdependent discriminations
  • crossing conventions of genre
  • trying new forms of communication
  • irritating expectations
  • choosing new spaces, new words, new gazes, impressions and expression – always also localized against interdependent discriminations
  • reflecting and transfering interdependent structural discriminations into wordings
  • disidentifying with capitalist logics
  • challenging logics of functionality
  • inviting to pause, remain, or change your point of view
  • moving, challenging, making fun, connecting and giving space …


for further reading:
talking visions. multicultural feminism in a transnational age. ella shohat (ed.) 1998, mit press.