As anyone who has attempted IKEA assembly with a friend or partner knows, it can be an experience which either brings two people closer together or ignites tensions and causes lasting alienation. What other experience has this same potential to make-or-break a pair? Tripping on drugs, of course.
So why not combine the two and see what happens?
This is exactly what Hunter Fine and Alex Taylor thought would be perfect fodder for a webseries, which they have created and entitled HIKEA (as in “high-kea”). Referring to their work as a “social experiment”, they began with auditioning willing participants for roles which would not only require attempting to construct some perplexing and possibly frustrating pieces of IKEA furniture on camera, but also to do so under the influence of psychoactive substances. Sounds like a typical weeknight in college, but okay.
As creators Fine and Taylor describe, “This series adds a degree of difficulty to a familiar challenge as we document the experiences of regular people – high on drugs like LSD or magic mushrooms – attempting to build well-priced furniture. Each episode introduces a new drug, new characters, a new IKEA puzzle. And we get to witness the highs and lows of these brave souls as they embark on the nearly impossible.”
The first two episodes of the webseries were released today. In the first episode of HIKEA we observe participants Gianncarlo and Nicole as they take LSD and try to assemble an IKEA cabinet. “We have a task at hand and we have something we have to do, but at the same time we’re having fun”, Gianncarlo endearingly explains. Their total build time? 3 hours 53 minutes. In the end, Nicole conclusively asserts, “I will never build furniture on acid again.”
Episode number two follows the exploits of Keith as he “takes shrooms and has an existential crisis about what it means to build furniture.” Keith began his IKEA adventure with an eighth of mushrooms and an open mind: “I feel like I’ve been summoned here to do what many people have done through the ages.” Unfortunately, IKEA’s manual for his unassembled desk was proving more challenging than usual after his recreational snack, causing him to decry it as a “book of lies” and become rather resigned after just 30 minutes. With some encouragement from the crew he grudgingly resumes his task. “Furniture: It’s wood. It’s metal. You gotta put it together. There’s pieces”, he astutely observes. Ultimately Keith was able to complete his IKEA desk (despite various missed “steps” – and missteps) after 5 hours and 37 minutes.
Furniture, self-actualization and a sense of accomplishment – thanks IKEA! (and drugs!)