“COUM Transmissions were a music and performance art collective who operated in the United Kingdom from 1969 through to 1976. Influenced by the Dada artistic movement, COUM were openly confrontational and subversive, challenging aspects of conventional British society. Founded in Hull, Yorkshire by Genesis P-Orridge, other prominent members included Cosey Fanni Tutti, Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson and Chris Carter, who together went on to found the pioneering industrial band Throbbing Gristle in 1976.
It had a rotating membership, not atypical of the 1960s, and included both intellectual and criminal elements and existed formally from 1969 until 1976. In that year, they exhibited at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in a show called Prostitution, which consisted of explicit photographs of lesbians, assemblages of rusty knives, syringes, bloodied hair, used sanitary towels, press clippings and photo documentation of COUM performances in Milan and Paris. There was a lot of outrage expressed by London newspapers and UK politicians, including Tory MP Nicholas Fairbairn, who referred to COUM as the ‘wreckers of Western civilization’. However, memberships to the ICA increased sharply as a result of the COUM show.” [via]