Throbbing Gristle were one of the most influential bands of the 1970’s and 80’s. They pioneered industrial music and combined performance art with punk. Cosey Fanni Tutti was a member of this group and has written an autobiography called Art Sex Music. The memoir charts her creative life to date and starts with Cosey’s childhood in Hull. We hear how she took part in mail art projects, began making music and performances with COUM and then Throbbing Gristle, started working in the pornography industry and how the relationships with her father and band mates were difficult at best. In the memoir Cosey is most animated and enthusiastic when discussing her relationship with Chris Carter and their musical collaboration Chris and Cosey.
Cosey Fanni Tutti is at the Edinburgh International Book Festival to discuss Art Sex Music with fan and local crime writer Ian Rankin. Rankin is known for his love of music, so it is guaranteed to be an informative and interesting conversation. The event begins with Rankin enquiring about the recent COUM retrospective exhibition in Hull. Cosey mentions that the chance to stage the exhibition was what triggered her to write the book. Hull is the 2017 UK City of Culture and the opportunity gave Cosey the motivation to write this memoir and look back at her life.
Cosey speaks passionately about art and music. She talks about how Throbbing Gristle put great thought into the design of their record sleeves, logos, costumes and the imagery the group used. Colour and design went hand in hand with music. We also hear of the difficult and abusive relationship Cosey had with band mate Genesis P.Orridge. He does not come over well in the memoir and Cosey does not remember the Throbbing Gristle reunion shows with much fondness. Art Sex Music is a biography that presents one of the most interesting voices in art and music. Coesy’s work in performance is fascinating and hearing her talk passionately with Ian Rankin, it is clear that Cosey Fanni Tutti is still intent on creating new and exciting art.