Twelve small-scale bonfires based on celebrated traditions throughout the world were lit one after the other. Each bonfire was accompanied by a text explaining its origin, location and historical significance.
Extract from a text read to the audience by Will Foster and Tormod Carlson during the lighting of each bonfire:
‘This is not a history of fire, but a history of bonfires. This is not the history of bonfires, but a history of bonfires. Fires of celebration, fires of spirituality, fires of conflict, fires of remembrance, fires of tradition, fires of amusement, fires of community.
Name: Aggie Bonfire
Where: Texas USA
Design: Made from large wooden logs resembling a wedding cake
The Aggie bonfire was a long-standing tradition held at Texas A&M University during rival college football games with the University of Texas, Austin. For ninety years, Texas A&M students (“Aggies”) built and burned a bonfire on campus each autumn. The annual event symbolised Aggies’ “burning desire to beat the hell outta T.U.” (a derogatory nickname for the University of Texas.) Over the years the bonfire grew to an immense size, setting a world record in 1969. At 2:42 AM on 18 November 1999, the 10m high stack, consisting of about 5000 logs, collapsed during construction. 12 students were killed and 27 were injured. Since the accident, a student-sponsored group annually constructs a smaller off-campus bonfire called the “Student Bonfire” in the spirit of its predecessor.’