What is a “Creative Hybrid”?

During one of many conversations in Canada about being organ transplant recipients and creatives, JD coined the term “Creative Hybrid”.  These conversations have continued since returning to our respective nations; and from them, the need for a crystal clear definition has emerged.  

So: what is a “Creative Hybrid”?

It seems simple at first; Is it someone who engages with the shifted identity of being a transplant recipient by creating work that creates clarity about where they are situated in life? Almost; not quite. Since being an organ transplant recipient is being a stitching together of two sets of DNA from hereon the casual declaration of singular identity is not entirely accurate. As a person whose biological existence philosophically challenges singularity, and by extension, the principles of individuality and independence, the mentality that tries to locate identity apart from engagement with external things and people in life is untenable. Hybrids are plunged into existential crisis the moment their biology changes; we no longer align with how the world describes how individuals relate to the world at large. 

Being a creative hybrid means to actively engage with the extra layer of intensity that transplantation brings to life and to transform the heavy burden into something life-enriching. 

If we hybrids are the objects of scientists’ artistic sculpturing of our flesh, our channelling of the same force which maintains our existence– the creative spirit- be it through art, writing, music –is to likewise create an objectifying distance.  Simultaneously, there is a parallax movement towards integration: by reflecting back our experiences as a hybrid creatively we creative hybrids can reclaim the sense of being a subject in the world.

This intersubjective practice, whereby the intense emotions and shifting identity that transplantation brings is laid out, dissected and then reassembled, is more than a reclamation. It is a gestalt practice. Greater than the sum of the parts, being a creative hybrid is the practice of always already being both a subject and object in one’s life.

This form of intersubjective knowledge, through an alchemical process of transforming the psychological lead into conceptual gold, through whatever tools we are vocationally drawn to, is radical. 

It can expose truths about humanity that all too often we want to look away from- the reality of suffering, pain, trauma.

It can cut across the very same cultural frameworks which gave rise to transplantation- ideologies of there being an inherent separation between the creator and the creation, object and subject, art and science.

Our existence as creative hybrids can, at its most controversial, question the very means by which we remain alive, and the traditional models of knowledge production.

And yet, paradoxically, our art and writing affirms our existence, it is an act of love of one’s fate, keeping us gloriously alive in the most meaningful sense.

As creative hybrids, our interpretation of new perceptions, emotions, realities, post-transplant, can be considered an exploratory science, under the guise of art, cataloguing distinctions. Distinctions, or symptoms, that remain when the transplant dream of creating wholeness by removing part and substituting it with a different part, is revealed by us- the end product, us now forever ‘multiple’ recipients (hybrids)- as always fated to be imperfect; wholeness remains broken in parts.

Transplantation: promising the return to originary wholeness, the human as a universe in himself. 

The creative hybrid speaks, re-born: The illusion of wholeness is revealed; the universe is a-part.

Our world in ruins, we must reshape the world, stitching something new. The doctors proved to us that our salvation isn’t found in sculpting our bodies; creating a body of work for our thoughts and feelings, however, promises a resolution more deep than of matter alone.