The group was very involved in music throughout its history even appearing on a bill with Hawkwind in October 1971. However they were also very active with performance art, mail art, installations, video, and print publications. COUM performed across the U.K. as well as in Europe and the US. In September 1975, COUM members Genesis, Cosey and Peter joined up with Chris Carter (2) and focused their musical energies on the parallel project Throbbing Gristle. This left COUM to focus more on performance art in its last years.
COUM Transmission were always controversial with such avant garde happenings such as Copyright Breeches, COUMing of Age and Marcel Duchamp's Next Work, but this peaked with the "Prostitution" art exhibit at London's ICA in October, 1976 - based around photos from Cosey's career as a model/actress for pornographic magazines and films. The "Prostitution" show was also the accepted premier of Throbbing Gristle. Tory MP Sir Nicholas Fairbairn decried the show as "a sickening outrage. Obscene. Evil. Public money is being wasted here to destroy the morality of our society. These people are the wreckers of civilization!"