As a commentary about the availability of branded goods compared to access to water, this art installation turns Coke into drinking water. The Real Thing was created Helmut Smit in collaboration with Martien Würdemann. The simple distillation machine was made possible by Synthetic Organic Chemistry Group, the University of Amsterdam and TU/e. The installation was photographed by Ronald Smits. It recently premiered at Dutch Design Week at the Sense Nonsense exhibition.
While The Real Thing does not do much in the way of providing access to water on a mass scale, the message behind the art piece is loud and clear. It definitely is a conversation starter on not just water issues and natural resources, but our priorities.