Inflamed Invisible

From Goldsmiths Press / Sonics Series

Inflamed Invisible

Collected Writings on Art and Sound, 1976–2018

By David Toop

A rich collection of essays tracing the relationship between art and sound.

Distributed for Goldsmiths Press





A rich collection of essays tracing the relationship between art and sound.

In the 1970s David Toop became preoccupied with the possibility that music was no longer bounded by formalities of audience: the clapping, the booing, the short attention span, the demand for instant gratification. Considering sound and listening as foundational practices in themselves leads music into a thrilling new territory: stretched time, wilderness, video monitors, singing sculptures, weather, meditations, vibration and the interior resonance of objects, interspecies communications, instructional texts, silent actions, and performance art.

Toop sought to document the originality and unfamiliarity of this work from his perspective as a practitioner and writer. The challenge was to do so without being drawn back into the domain of music while still acknowledging the vitality and hybridity of twentieth-century musics as they moved toward art galleries, museums, and site-specificity. Toop focused on practitioners, whose stories are as compelling as the theoretical and abstract implications of their works.

Inflamed Invisible collects more than four decades of David Toop's essays, reviews, interviews, and experimental texts, drawing us into the company of artists and their concerns, not forgetting the quieter, unsung voices. The volume is an offering, an exploration of strata of sound that are the crossing points of sensory, intellectual, and philosophical preoccupations, layers through which objects, thoughts and air itself come alive as the inflamed invisible.


$30.00 T ISBN: 9781912685165 320 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$24.95 T ISBN: 9781913380625 320 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


  • Breathing, wandering, wondering. Toop's writings make sound breathe, amorphous, pulse with futurity.

    Sukhdev Sandhu



  • Inflamed Invisible gives its readers singular insights into the dynamic field of sound as art. David Toop shares his profound knowledge that is based on decades of experience as an astute writer, innovative musician, and great friend of fellow artists. I savored every page of this extraordinary publication.

    Barbara London

    Yale School of Art

  • David Toop is a consummate collector of sounds. In Inflamed Invisible he uncovers compositions in the most unlikely corners of the creative arts, hearing sound in the works from art world luminaries such as Francis Alÿs, Gilbert & George and Picasso, through to more expected stalwarts Christina Kubisch, Alivin Lucier and Akio Suzuki. This wide-ranging collection of essays explores new ways of thinking about music and its performance that has been part of Toop's practice since the 1970s and has led him to become one of the most sought after essayists on sound.

    Caleb Kelly

    UNSW Art & Design