Cosey Fanni Tutti

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Cosey Fanni Tutti
Cosey Fanni Tutti performing with Throbbing Gristle in Brooklyn, New York in 2009
Cosey Fanni Tutti performing with Throbbing Gristle in Brooklyn, New York in 2009
Background information
Birth nameChristine Carol Newby
Born (1951-11-04) 4 November 1951 (age 69)
Hull, Yorkshire, England
Occupation(s)Performance artist, musician
InstrumentsGuitar, cornet, vocals
Years active1969–present
Associated actsCOUM Transmissions
Throbbing Gristle
Chris & Cosey

Cosey Fanni Tutti (born Christine Carol Newby;[1]:226 4 November 1951)[2] is an English performance artist, musician, and writer, best known for her time in the avant-garde groups Throbbing Gristle and Chris & Cosey.[3]

Her name came about in 1973, before which she performed under the name Cosmosis. According to Throbbing Gristle biographer Simon Ford, "Cosey Fanni Tutti" was suggested to her by mail artist Robin Klassnick, and it comes from the opera Così fan tutte, meaning literally "Thus Do They All."[4][5]

Early career[edit]

Tutti was a performer with COUM Transmissions of which she was a founding member in 1969.[6] Her addition changed the nature of the group, which, when she joined, was still mostly a musical venture. From that point on, COUM performances became events or, in 1960s parlance, happenings, involving props, costumes, dance, improvisation and street theatre.[7] As an installation artist, she was selected in 1975 to represent Britain at the IXth Biennale de Paris.[8]

Visual art works and performance art[edit]

Tutti worked for two years on the 'Prostitution' project as part of COUM Transmissions in which she created a revealing exhibition about the porn and sex industry. For this project, she worked as a model for sex magazines and films (see section on Pornography below). It was shown at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London in 1976. Censorship restrictions were imposed on the exhibition so only one image could be viewed at a time. The project also involved a performance and discussion events in which women working in the sex industry and the public could enter a dialog about issues surrounding this industry and prostitution. Tutti also utilised her own used tampons and used nappies from Mary Kelly's work. This "aroused hysterical reactions from the British media and art establishment, unable to address the political implications of the work".[9]


Tutti had a long career as a stripper and in the fields of pornographic film and magazines, stemming from a desire to incorporate her own image into collages she produced in this period.[10] This willingness deliberately and consciously to participate in the process of commercial image production has inspired a number of visual and performance artists. Some of her performance art work has also drawn on her experience as an adult performer.[11] In 1978, she appeared as a dancer in the music video for singer Sylvester's disco song "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" with three other women from her stripping agency in London, alongside several professional dancers from Pineapple Dance Studios.[12]

Music career[edit]

Music was used in some of Tutti's performance art. The use of music led to Tutti's interest in the concept of 'acceptable' music and she went on to explore the use of sound as a means of physical pleasure or pain.[13] In 1976 she co-founded the group Throbbing Gristle with Chris Carter, Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson and Genesis P-Orridge. The group disbanded in 1981.[14]

Following the disbanding of Throbbing Gristle, Genesis P-Orridge and Peter Christopherson went on to form Psychic TV, while Tutti and Chris Carter continued to record together under the moniker Chris and Cosey.[15] In honour of the dawn of the 21st century, Chris and Cosey changed their stage name to Carter Tutti. In 2004, after twenty three years apart, all four original members of Throbbing Gristle reunited, and issued a new 12" recording, TG Now. The band continued to collaborate sporadically, and began to perform live shows together for the first time in over two decades.[16] In April 2009, Throbbing Gristle toured the US, appearing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and playing shows in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Chicago.

In October 2010, Throbbing Gristle began a European tour; however, following the band's first tour date at the London Village Underground venue,[17] London, on 23 October[18] Throbbing Gristle's website announced that Genesis P-Orridge was no longer willing to perform with the band, and would return to their home in New York. Chris, Cosey and Peter finished the tour without P-Orridge, under the name X-TG.[19][20]

Carter and Tutti performed with Nik Colk Void of Factory Floor at Mute's Short Circuit Festival on 13 May 2011. A live album of the show, with an additional studio track, was released as Transverse in 2012, under the name Carter Tutti Void.[21]

Later life[edit]

Tutti continues to release solo recordings, including a retrospective deluxe box set with many photos and text, called Time To Tell,[22] and she continues to work as a performance artist in the Dada tradition. She co-edited (with Richard Birkett) and published (Koenig Books, 2012), Maria Fusco's Cosey Complex, is the first major publication to discuss and theorise Tutti as methodology.[23] In April 2017 she published her autobiography Art Sex Music.[24][25][26]

In March 2018, Tutti discussed her life and career with actress Maxine Peake on BBC Radio Four's programme Only Artists.[27]


Excluding Throbbing Gristle, Carter Tutti or Chris & Cosey releases.

  • Time To Tell (1983 Flowmotion)
  • Nicki (1983 AQM) [with John Duncan and Chris Carter]
  • Electronic Ambient Remixes 4: Selflessness (2004 Conspiracy International)
  • Mist While Sleeping (2010 Dirter Promotions) [with Philippe Petit]
  • Carter Tutti Void Transverse (2012 Mute)
  • Tutti (2019 Conspiracy International)


  • A Study In Scarlet (1986 Conspiracy International)



Tutti took part in BBC Radio 4 Only Artists broadcast on 28 March 2018. [28]


  1. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2005). Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0571215690 – via the Internet Archive.
  2. ^ "Cosey Fanni Tutti profile". Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  3. ^ Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti. "Biographies: A Brief History of Chris and Cosey Carter Tutti". Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  4. ^ Ananda Pellerin. "Cosey Fanni Tutti". Archived from the original on 24 June 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  5. ^ Maria Fusco. "Cosey and Maria talk about Linguistic Hardcore" (PDF). Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  6. ^ John A. Walker. "1976: From Shock Art to Shock Rock". Artdesigncafé.com. Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  7. ^ Simon Ford. "Extract is taken from: WRECKERS OF CIVILISATION. THE STORY OF COUM TRANSMISSIONS AND THROBBING GRISTLE". Black Dog 1999. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  8. ^ "CURRENT BIOGRAPHY (abridged version)". Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  9. ^ Reckitt, Helena (2001). Art and Feminism. London: Phaidon Press Limited. p. 103. ISBN 978 07148 6391 7.
  10. ^ Red Ronnie (23 October 1980). "Interview with Genesis & Cosey". The Genesis Breyer P-Orridge online archive. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  11. ^ Kate Green; Steve Peralta. "Cosey Fanni Tutti". Neoaztalan. Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  12. ^ Doran, John (14 September 2015). "As If By Magic: Carter Tutti Void Interviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  13. ^ Cosey Fanni Tutti. "THROBBING GRISTLE PERSONNEL: Cosey Fanni Tutti (extract from TG CD 1)". Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  14. ^ Alex Young (29 October 2010). "Throbbing Gristle break up following departure of Genesis P-Orridge". Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  15. ^ "Chris and Cosey". Trouser Press. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  17. ^ "HACKNEY DISSENTING ACADEMY". Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  18. ^ "Throbbing Gristle: London Village Underground". Documentary Evidence. 23 October 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  19. ^ "IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING THROBBING GRISTLE!". 28 October 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  20. ^ Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson (10 November 2010). "X-Industrial". Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  21. ^ "Carter Tutti Void: Transverse | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  22. ^ Cosey Fanni Tutti profile (1981). "Time To Tell Texts". Time To Tell Booklet. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  23. ^ "Goldsmiths research online". 26 September 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  24. ^ Petridis, Alexis (14 March 2017). "Cosey Fanni Tutti: 'I don't like acceptance. It makes me think I've done something wrong'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  25. ^ Berman, Judy (17 May 2017). "Throbbing Gristle Founder Explores Porn as Art in Memoir". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  26. ^ Zevolli, Giuseppe (5 April 2017). "Cosey Fanni Tutti's Art Sex Music'". Drowned In Sound. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  27. ^ Participants: Cosey Fanni Tutti , Maxine Peake; Producer: Clare Walker (28 March 2018). "Only Artists: Series 4: 28/03/2018". Only Artists. BBC. BBC Radio Four. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  28. ^ "28/03/2018, Series 4, Only Artists - BBC Radio 4". BBC. Retrieved 28 March 2018.

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