1992, Museum of Contemporary Art
at the Illinois National Guard Armory
Haha hired Donovan Demolition, an explosive depth-hardening contractor, to wire the officers' quarters of the Illinois National Guard Armory for dynamite. Five licensed pyrotechnicians pounded 45 holes in the walls, four feet off the ground and four feet apart. The charges were set to travel at 50 millisecond intervals in three parallel circuits, beginning at the entrance to the apartment and traveling out toward the hall, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, living room, and meeting in the archway above the breakfast table. The apartment was wired to implode, leaving the rest of the building standing, barring structural damage. After the demolition company left, Haha sank the connecting wires into carved grooves in the walls, filled the charge holes with plaster, dusted off the furniture and put the apartment back in order. The Chicago Sun Times arrived daily and piled up in the space.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, had invited eighteen artists to install works on two floors of the Armory before tearing it down to build a new museum. Two critical elements were left out of the circuit in Haha's installation, one of which was the detonator, which Haha gave to Alan Turner, Chairman of the Board of the Museum, for safekeeping.
Visitors touring the armory used the officer's quarters as a place to rest, read the paper, or watch TV. Though visible, the recessed circuit of charges and wires was designed not to interfere with the life that went on in the apartment. The pending explosion remained in suspense for three months, after which the building was torn down with wrecking balls.