Explore the life of COUM Transmissions in the first exhibition of materials drawn from the personal archives of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge. Live events organised by The Quietus will trace the conception and legacy of COUM, combining music, talks and discussions among original COUM members.
Founded in Hull during the late 1960s by artists Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti, COUM Transmissions was a collective whose work confronted, subverted and challenged societal conventions.
Labelled ‘the wreckers of civilisation’ by a Conservative MP following COUM’s Prostitution show at London’s
Institute of Contemporary Arts, the group’s end in 1976 heralded the formation of the musical collective Throbbing Gristle.


The opening night of the COUM live programme will see the first public appearances of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-ORRIDGE in the city of Hull since they left. Taking place in Fruit, a venue that was once one of the dockside fruit warehouses where they “scrudged” for food to survive, the COUM founders will individually conduct distinct new works that draw upon their experiences and recollections of COUM’s years of activity. Using sound, imagery and the human voice Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-ORRIDGE will separately further the influence and inspiring legacy they birthed four decades ago in works that emphasise COUM as an active energy.
This afternoon of programming will see two panels explore the activity and legacy of COUM in greater depth. Speakers include Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-ORRIDGE, COUM members Spydee, Foxtrot Echo and ‘technical director’ John Lacey.
A reading by Adelle Stripe to open the evening, followed by a reading from Cosey Fanni Tutti from her autobiography ART SEX MUSIC. The evening will continue with a Q&A with Lee Brackstone of Faber & Faber. The evening will conclude with a gallery tour of COUM Transmissions led by Cosey herself and Andrew Wheatley from Cabinet.
The closing weekend will focus on the lasting legacy of COUM Transmissions and the projects that followed the group’s dissolution in 1976. This first event will present a performance from Surgeon, an artist firmly embedded within the post-COUM musical milieu, exemplified in part by his Coil-influenced 1999 Tresor album Force And Form and an appearance in the audience at Throbbing Gristle’s 2004 Astoria show. Headlining will be Carter Tutti Void, the trio of Cosey Fanni Tutti, Chris Carter and Nik Void of Factory Floor, a cross-generational group who have provided an exhilarating, visceral antithesis to contemporary cultural and social monotone.
Finishing off proceedings will be a showcase of Hull-inspired sets from some of the city’s underground exports; cultural innovators who grew up in the city and the surrounding area in the post-COUM years and can just about recall a youth spent loitering on Queen’s Gardens and mainlining toxic green cocktails in Spiders. Heading up the bill will be Kiran Sande of Blackest Ever Black, an underground label that has been championing sonically dark mischief since 2010, and whose mix CD-Rs ID Mud and Dream Theory In Haltemprice have touched upon Hull in more than name alone.

Welcome to Hull - City of Culture 2017

Includes Cosey Fanni Tutti discussing the new COUM Transmissions exhibition for Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

Available to watch on iPlayer now.

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Made in Hull - BBC Radio 4

Artist Cosey Fanni Tutti, Spencer Tunick and film-maker Sean McAllister
are some of the leading contributors to Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

Available to stream or download.