Turning Coke into Water

Van Mensvoort
November 21st 2016

In some parts of the world people don't have access to clean drinking water, but you can buy a bottle of Coke there. This observation inspired artist Helmut Smits to create the installation The Real Thing, in which Coke is turned into water.

The machine needs to run for one entire day to convert a single bottle of Coke into a glass of clean drinking water. As the sugary soft drink with the secret recipe boils, it generates water vapor that is caught and transferred into a glass of fresh potable water.

The process isn't very practical as it takes eight liters of water to create one bottle of Coke in the first place. Yet it does raise questions on what, at the end of the day, should be considered 'the real thing'.

Seen at Dream out Loud. Image: Helmut Smits

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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