Christopher Steenson

PS² Freelands Artist programme, 2022-23

Christopher Steenson is an artist from Northern Ireland. With a background in psychology and the sonic environment, Steenson's artistic practice began in 2017. Since then he has exhibited his work at national and international levels. Primarily working in the mediums of sound, writing and photography, his artworks often take the form of sound-based public interventions and installations, spanning across boundaries of private and public space.

Christopher Steenson’s work forges ways of 'listening to the future', by using field recording, photography and writing as his materials. He is primarily concerned with the shifting elements of our environment, such as declining wildlife populations and the climate crisis, and the entangled role of human activity within these changes.

Steenson's most-recent works have focused on noise pollution and radiospace and their entwined effects on wildlife. His artwork False Detection (2019–21) traces the effects of electromagnetic fields on birdlife, produced by wireless communication infrastructures. One of his most recent projects was On Chorus (2020), a large-scale public sound artwork, made with the support of Iarnród Éireann/Irish Rail. On Chorus highlighted the effects of noise pollution by recording the sounds of the urban spring dawn chorus during the first Covid-19 lockdown and broadcasting these sounds across Ireland, using Iarnród Éireann/Irish Rail’s train station PA systems. The artwork used the strategy of networked broadcasting to encourage actions of collective listening, to connect individuals together during times of social distancing.