COUM Transmissions

Founded in Hull in 1969 by Cosey Fanni Tutti, Genesis P-Orridge and Peter Christopherson, COUM Transmissions “aspired to the reality of rituals […] genuine rather than simulated” (Walker 2002: 174). Influenced by Dada they intended to shock, questioning whether, for example, Tutti’s work as a porn actor could also be accepted as art. They challenged the convention not only of the art world but of society and representation as a whole. Subsequently, they formed the highly influential band Throbbing Gristle with Chris Carter.

Tutti also made many solo performances in the early 70s, and in 1975 she represented Britain in the Paris Biennale with her installation-based practice. P-Orridge was also in Rose Garrard’s work Universal Man in Forty-Five Tasks, 1974, at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

COUM Transmissions

Performance documentation / Examples of works

72-82 by William Raban (2014, 60 mins 20 seconds)
Study Room Ref: D2192


BATTISTA, Kathy (2013) Re-negotiating the Body: Feminist Art in 1970s London, London: I. B. Tauris
Study Room Ref: P2121

FORD, Simon (1999) Wreckers Of Civilisation: The Story Of Coum Transmissions & Throbbing Gristle, London: Black Dog Publishing
Study Room Ref: P0202

FUSCO, Maria and BIRKET, Richard eds. (2012) COSEY COMPLEX, London: Koenig Books
Study Room Ref: P1910

WALKER, John A. (2002) Left Shift: Radical Art in 1970s Britain, London: I. B. Tauris
Study Room Ref: P0623


Cosey Fanni Tutti Website

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Website