In an effort to try and attach a small detour to the general posthuman road on which we have travelled far I found an essay called ”Hybridity is the new metamorphosis” from 2012 by the english writer and professor Harvey L. Hix. In his text Hix explains how the notion of transformation in context with becoming ”the other” has changed from a focus on metamorphosis to the current discourse of hybridity. As Hix writes;
”In a metamorphosis, then, one form replaces another; but altogether only two forms are involved. In a hybrid, two forms join to create a form that is neither the one nor the other; so three forms are involved or implied. Metamorphosis is a substitution of one form for another, hybridity a combination of one form with another.” (Hix: “Hybridity is the new metamorphosis”,p. 273)
Where metamorphosis mainly focuses on human subject becoming other in form but still remaining distinctively humanistic in conscious (As for instance in the case of Zeus changing forms and still remaining godly in mind), hybridity is neither the narrative of the exceptional human self or “the other” but indeed the creation of the third fluent posthuman entity. What is especially notable in regards to Hix’s contribution is the description of how this change of discourse has affected the posthuman’s political potential.
The hybridity thought provokes action from the subject, as the conditions are no longer outside the self or easily displaced in “the other” but is now in the core of vulnerability in all hybrid entities including us.
“In a world of hybridity, in contrast, nothing saves me from myself; instead of the external world threatening to overwhelm me, I (we, humanity) threaten to overwhelm it. Now that we are mechanical/digital cyborgs, the events to forestall are those (such as oil spills) that follow from our condition, but are ultimately not only destructive of other things but also self-destructive.” (His: “Hybridity is the new metamorphosis”, p. 278)
What may at first seem like a banal side note in regards to the overall progress in the field of posthumanism is actually a very valid nuance in an important move away from the hegemonic transformation of self-to-other-and-back and towards a ”meshy” (A grateful tip of the hat to Morton) hybrid merger of selves and entities.
Hix, Harvey L.: “Hybridity is the new metamorphosis”, Comparative Critical Studies, 9.3 (2012): 271–283 Edinburgh University Press