Aesthetics and the senses / Food and Culture

Everlasting Coke

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Although the formula for the world’s most recognizable beverage has remained mostly unchanged for the last 100+ years, the bottle in which it is held has been in a constant state of flux. As evident from the picture above, both the bottle’s shape and materials have slowly evolved. Originally made of glass, the bottle transitioned to plastic in the early 1990’s- around the time plastics were becoming so popular, due to our large oil consumption. Then in the mid-2000’s, when the environment was becoming a prevalent topic, the plastic was ousted for the more recyclable aluminum. In regards to the changing shape, the bottle has elegantly matured into one with delicate contours, which has become strangely recognizable. This changing of shape comes from our changing as a society. Over the last century, society as a whole has stressed the importance of the “aesthetic” world. Gone are the Tower Blocks of the 70’s, replaced with cutting-edge sky scrappers and apartment buildings. The mundane that fills our lives (packaging, clothes, buildings, etc.), has slowly been designed to seem unique and pleasing to look at. For example, many soda companies hire artists to design limited edition bottles and cans. It seems then, as society has aged and matured, we have become hungry for art. The notion that art has no function, other than being pleasing to look at, has been obliterated.

            This begs the question, is art starting to become too commonplace and cookie-cutter? Once held in regards to be a luxury for the wealthy, art has become accessible to all social classes, through the advent of the internet and public museums.  But once it was made readily available, it started to become exploited- as corporations used art as a means of advertising. Once unique creations, some pieces of art are being mass-produced on a huge scale. Does that mean to say it loses its artistic merit, though?

Regardless of your view on the evolution on art, it’s clear that the seemingly innocent Coca-Cola bottle echoes our advances as a society

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