We investigate the properties of the QCD matter across the deconfinement phase transition. In the scope of the parton-hadron string dynamics (PHSD) transport approach, we study the strongly interacting matter in equilibrium as well as the out-of equilibrium dynamics of relativistic heavy-ion collisions. We present here in particular the results on the electromagnetic radiation, i.e. photon and dilepton production, in relativistic heavy-ion collisions and the relevant correlator in equilibrium, i.e. the electric conductivity. By comparing our calculations for the heavy-ion collisions to the available data, we determine the relative importance of the various production sources and address the possible origin of the observed strong elliptic flow $v_2$ of direct photons.