As my Facebook updates have indicated, I have been romanticaly involved with a flat-packed furniture chain store by the name of Ikea. (Ikea is such a pretty name, children?) I just wanted a ‘guy’ relationship, an easy erection, a couple of quick screws, and somewhere to lay down every now and then. But Ikea wanted me to commit. It wasn’t content with getting a piece here and there; it wanted to take over my life and plan my future with modular aspirationalism. It was a messy break up, glue and hammers were involved, but I am still here and even, if you can imagine it, wanting to head back out there. I want Ikea back…
Here is some Swedish Ikea theme music (I am pretty sure Foucault is in this clip):
Thinking about Ikea inevitably leads to thinking about Fight Club, or at least the film version, as I have not read the book. There is that scene. You know, this one:
Although edited in a dynamic way, with a fun use of overlayed catalogue graphics to represent how one’s living space is the resultant of catalogue induced desires, the composition of relations produced is fundamentally static. Desire is captured by the idea of an object represent in a catalogue and the purchase commodity does not simply furnish one’s domain but one’s identity. This serves as an example of the way the masculine subject is feminised by consumption so the brutal ultra-violence off the actual fight club can be dialectically juxtaposed as a heroic counter-position. Yeah? Standard Intro to CultStuds stuff.
If, however, the dynamic of the Ikea catalogue practice is not flat-packed into nice preconceived cultural categories assembled via the schematics of CULTURAL THEORY then the difference is not one determined by how much or litle one subsumes the commodified lifestyle of catalogued desires. Rather it becomes a battle of pragmatics. Beyond the will-to-fully-furnished of total subsumption is the over determination of the fight club’s raw pragmatism, which in reality (not in Fight Club world) is actually how Ikea is used.
Those coming into adulthood as the first generation of numillenials mobility is a way of life. One’s domain is not simply furnished, there is a constant churning of persona that may or may not be furnished with the assistance of catalogued desires. If anything, a privileged necessity dictates how and when an Ikea pragmatism will be useful.
That, and I love the dollar dogs (not sure what they are in other countires, I remember working out the price was roughly the same when I went to Sweden).