'What Is Life?' is a question that has haunted the life sciences since Gottfried Treviranus and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck independently coined the word 'biology' in 1802. The query has titled scores of articles and books, with Erwin Schrödinger’s in 1944 and Lynn Margulis & Dorion Sagan’s in 1995 being only the most prominent ones. In this book, biogroop curate and speculate upon a collection of first pages of publications from 1829–2020 containing 'What Is Life?' in their titles. Replies to the question – and, by extension, the object of biology – have transformed since its first enunciation, from 'the sum of the functions that resist death' to 'a bioinformation system' to 'edible, lovable, lethal'. Interleaved are frame-shifting interruptions reflecting on how the question has been posed, answered, and may yet be unasked.
168 pages, 15 x 23cm, softcover, Spector Books (Leipzig).