Ghosts in the Air Glow is an ionospheric transmission art project using the HAARP Ionospheric Research Instrument to play with the liminal boundaries of outer space. Pairing air glow experiments in the ionosphere—false auroras creating soft, glowing spots in the sky—with SSTV images, audio and image signals articulated by artist Amanda Dawn Christie will be received and decoded via SDR (Software Defined Radio) equipment by amateur radio operators around the world, and streamed live online for audiences who do not have the equipment or expertise for reception. Viewing and listening gatherings will be organized for the final transmissions, in various cities, where audiences can experience the transmissions collectively.

Transmission tests will take place in spring of 2019, with final transmissions to take place in 2020. Ghosts in the Air Glow is being created with support from the Canada Council for the Arts.


Amanda dawn christie

Amanda Dawn Christie is an interdisciplinary artist working in film, video, performance, photography, and electroacoustic sound design. Her performances, installations, and films have been presented internationally. Concepts and themes explored in her work focus primarily on the relationship between the human body and analogue technology in a digital age. She spent the last decade working on various projects related to shortwave radio and the RCI (Radio Canada International) shortwave transmission site. These include Spectres of Shortwave—a two hour experimental documentary film as well as several accompanying gallery installations, sculptures, and photo series —and Requiem for Radio—a one hour interdisciplinary performance comprised of five parts, including interactive instrument design, international shortwave simulcasts, and theatrical performance. Both Spectres of Shortwave and Requiem for Radio were created with the support of Arts NB and the Canada Council for the Arts. She currently lives in Montréal where she works as an Assistant Professor of Intermedia (Video, Performance, and Electronics in Concordia University’s department of Studio Arts.  Ghosts in the Air Glow is funded with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.


HAARP is a phased array of 180 HF crossed-dipole antennas spread over 33 acres of land in Alaska. The site was built in the 1990s and was a jointly managed program of the United States Air Force and the United States Navy. Responsibility for the HAARP facilities and equipment formally transferred from the military to UAF in 2015, The goal of the research at HAARP is to conduct fundamental study of the physical processes at work in the very highest portions of our atmosphere, called the thermosphere and ionosphere. For more information on HAARP, see

Since 2015, the bulk of the research experiments conducted at HAARP are in plasma physics. However, there is a great deal of potential for research in radio propagation. Very few experiments have been done with transmitting audio and still images.



Image Sources:

MRI scans
- images of Amanda Dawn Christie’s brain
- images extracted from medical files by Ryan Clayton

Video Test cards
- designed by Ryan Clayton (inspired by Hilma AF Klint)

1962 photographs
- images of Dave McPherson (Amanda’s grandfather) with a project Genetrix gondola that he found 7 miles in the woods where he was logging.

Text Sources:
Prelude, NATO phonetic alphabet story
, and Morse Code poetry,
- written and performed by Amanda Dawn Christie

”The Mystery Box” (1962)
- written by Lois McPherson (Amanda’s grandmother) read by Amanda Dawn Christie

Audio Sources:
Pulse Decay and Saxophone duet Opus 1 Time Stretched

- duet for Saxophone, Theremin, and contact microphone recordings of RCI shortwave towers, performed by Geneviève D’Ortun and Amanda Dawn Christie at Université de Montréal, in 2017. Processing and re-edting of this recording was done by Amanda Dawn Christie in Montréal 2019.

Saxophonal Stochastic Ghost Resonances
- improvisation on saxophone by Geneviève D’Ortun

Chasing the Wolves: a Luxembourg Experiment with Wolf Fifths
- composed by Amanda Dawn Christie

Giving credit where credit is due.

This project would not be possible without the generous support of the following individuals.

Dr. Christopher Fallen, KL3WX, Chief Scientist at HAARP
Dr. Michael McCarrick, Research Physicist, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
Alexandra Bischoff, Project Manager
Geneviève D’Ortun, Saxophone
Jeff Dumps, KL4IU, SDR Live Streaming Tech
Martin Peach, technician
Ryan Clayton, MRI and Video Test Card Image Preparation
Dr. Kim Andrew Elliot, SSTV encoding
Lukas Pearse, SSTV audio testing
Matt Blaze, consultant

Anchorage Amateur Radio Club - SDR hosting, antenna use, propagation consultants
TJ Sheffield, KL7TS
Kent Petty, KL5T
Keith Clark, KL7MM
Rich Gillin, AL4S
Matthieu Ostrander, KL4QH
Kevin Opalka, KL2NV
Riley Petty, KL4RP

Press & reviews

Concordia News
Concordia transmission artist launches a high-frequency project — in Alaska
By Meagan Boisse
March 21, 2019

Southgate Amateur Radio News
Canadian Artist to use HAARP to Transmit SSTV
March 22, 2019

Ghosts in the Air Glow HAARP Art Project: Transmitting Until March 28
March 26, 2019

HAARP Goes Artsy
Fairbanks, Alaska
Interview with Dan Bross
March 27, 2019.


For media inquiries and for more information, please email ghostsintheairglow(at)gmail(dot)com