Our common experience of furniture as New Yorkers usually comes in two forms: 1) the kind you find on the street and hope beyond hope that it isn’t a Trojan Horse of bed bugs lying in wait to seize your apartment; or 2) the kind you get from Ikea, because it’s cheap and easy and they have those meatballs at the store and maybe if your relationship can’t survive a trip through the store it wasn’t destined to last anyway. The second one can either lead to a fun challenge if you like snapping together the adult LEGO set that is Ikea furniture, or can cause lose your mind and start stabbing things with an allen wrench while cursing in Swedish about all the goddamn pieces not fitting together.
Now imagine the fun/horror of trying to assemble that furniture while tripping your face off. That’s the premise of the new web series Hikea created by two Brooklyn-based filmmakers. The show gives willing participants hallucinogens, hands them a box of Ikea furniture to assemble and let’s them have at it. As you can imagine, it takes a lot longer than usual.
“It’s a struggle we all know,” co-creator Alex Taylor told Bushwick Daily. “And many people have probably attempted it under some mild influences like beer or weed. So it seemed naturally relatable to amplify the degree of difficulty with something a little stronger.”
Hikea, which was co-created by Taylor and Hunter Fine, has released two episodes so far, with a third in the can: but the second one, which showed a guy taking mushrooms, it appears to have been taken down for violating YouTube’s terms of service. Who knew entertaining furniture assembly was against YouTube’s rules?
The subjects are volunteers the filmmakers found through Craigslist who met for the first time for the project. The idea, Taylor told Bushwick Daily, is just to get some more fun happy content out into the world with a conceptual hook we can all relate to.
There is something soothing about watching people on drugs assemble furniture. For one, it gives us all hope that your sober ass should be able to figure this out way easier. But as the video progresses, the characters, deep into their trip and communing with their hair and everything else around them, tap into the zen of building something with your hands, the sense of accomplishment at turning flat cardboard boxes into a three-dimensional, real-world thing. The directions, often maligned for their lack of textual explanations and goofy cartoon character, had your back all along.
Afterwards in the LSD video, the two leave the apartment and play around in a park, something we all deserve after putting together even the simplest Ikea furniture.