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Sad Smoky Mountains Ignition: A Call for Action

The Sad Smoky Mountains and skyscrapers ignition, is for the broken hearted mountains as well as the broken hearts of those who climb them. It is a living sculpture; a social environmental sculpture conceived and directed by Alberto Peruffo.

First ignition

At 13:00 hrs (local time), during the first ten days of May 2008 (period during which we expect the Olympic torch to reach the heights of Mount Everest) when the sky is clear and blue and hardly any wind blows on those mountains that are symbols to mountaineering, especially the Alps such as Monte Bianco, Monte Rosa, Cervino, Monviso etc. (there are no limits, neither geographical nor of altitude, but we will try to concentrate our energies on the most significant alpine heights, or, should one wish to go further, extra-alpine heights, including minor mountain peaks as well).

Second ignition

As above, but extending it to cities throughout the world. At 13:00 hrs, the midday of August 8th 2008, day upon which the Peking Olympic games will be inaugurated, on all mountain peaks, hills or significant panoramic protuberances including artificial constructions such as skyscrapers and similars.

Differently from the net of nets which unites in a single point as applied to The Wandering Cemetery, The Sad Smoky Mountains foresees a net of nets that develops in a diffused and uncontrolled manner (almost as to contrast that which has to be fought), an unconfined net applicable everywhere. For the second ascension, independently from weather conditions, all will proceed as described above except that it will occur on the inauguration day of the Olympics.

The sole data collection and information center posting these mountain events and cities will be the following website listing facts and events received from local representatives. The ignitions will be coordinated and subdivided according to geographical areas and local times.

Invitation to the work of art

Dear friends,

What is being asked of you may once again seem crazy or of too ephemeral nature to have artistic or civil effects capable of determining the purpose that all of us, authors and co-authors, prefix to reach: leaving a red sign in the sky to express our dissent against the abuses and hypocrisies of our times. A symbolic sign erupting from Earth, erupting from the mountains, from our consciences the very moment the Olympic flame is about to be lit. A flame, which instead of guaranteeing the high principles to which it is inspired, dramatically reflects the enormous contradictions of this epoque of ours, becoming a marketplace where all can be sold, even man’s destiny along with the environment in which he miserably lives. It seems as if the Olympic flame destined to cross the Mount Everest Peak will be conveyed to the Earth’s viscera, metabolized, refused and regurgitated under a different form from the heights of other mountains of the world (may these heights be real or artificial, rocky peaks or sleepy consciences) so as to shade the sky with the color of blood, of shame, of sadness and in last analysis, of rebellion; our individual act of dissent that no one can control because single and elusive. Should governments, commissions, sports teams, and athletes maintain silence in front of the unacceptable facts currently taking place in Tibet, should they maintain silence in front of those facts occulted in other parts of the world including “western civilizations”, let them do so; we will not bend ourselves to the complaisant of politics and economy, we will use a simple gesture, an unspoken language visible from afar which each and every one of us can manifest without words, without too much difficulty and without running the risk of being touched because neither damage nor violence whatsoever will be perpetrated against others. Our sole weapon being the art, free and documentable creativity, a net of nets that will pass on information, images, documents needed to develop a work of art, the civil intent being superior to all other intents, a social sculpture performed directly on and in unison with the surrounding landscapes so as to underline the indissoluble alliance between man and environment, between man and the other self, may this self be animal-plant-mineral or similar to himself, a himself reflected in the other; the violation of one proclaims the death of both.

Dear friends, I will be waiting for all of you on top of mountain peaks. Let’s light the fire of courage and indignation that simmers within.


Tashi delek.


La pace sia con voi – May peace be with you.

–Alberto Peruffo, Montecchio Maggiore, Vicenza, Italy