Coke… it’s the Real Thing

Coca-Cola pataphor

Ashley Anderson’s Real Soda can is a fourth-degeneration copy of the already hyper-real concept of the Coca-Cola can. It’s as far afield as one can imagine from the “original”, however it has all the hallmarks of a prototype of the original.

A power-up from Bad Dudes – 1988 arcade version

Bad Dudes coke power-up screen shot

A power-up from Bad Dudes – 1990 NES version

Stage One: The can exists in physical reality.

A can of Coca-Cola

Stage Two: The can becomes a power up for the 1988 32-bit arcade game, Bad Dudes.

Blown-up Coke can from the arcade version of Bad Dudes

Stage Three: The can becomes a power up for the 1990 8-bit NES version of the 32-bit arcade game, Bad Dudes.

Blown-up can of Coke from the NES version of Bad Dudes

Stage Four: The 8-bit degenerative form of the can is superimposed over the original.

Coca-Cola pataphor

I can’t help but feel that Anderson’s ouroboros of a concept could have its own chapter in a late revision of Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation.

6 thoughts on “Coke… it’s the Real Thing

  1. Pingback: Coke… it’s the Real Thing | Pataphor Magazine

  2. Let’s see: The “traditional” pataphor is a LINEAR transformation between universes.

    In the traditional pataphor:

    UNIVERSE A (Tom and Alice) >

    begin bleeding into the second universe via a

    SHADOW or OVERLAP UNIVERSE (chessboard), which contains elements of the start and end universes,

    ending up in >

    UNIVERSE B (Rudy and Margaret)


    In the case of the pataphorical Coke can, you have two possible scenarios:

    UNIVERSE A (Coke can) begins its journey to UNIVERSE B (Bad Dudes game), where it becomes stuck in OVERLAP UNIVERSE, remaining in can form while being affected by two distinct timeframes of UNIVERSE B (specifically, UNIVERSE B incarnations 1988 and 1990). In other words, the can becomes stuck in OVERLAP UNIVERSE in some fashion, never fully reaching Bad Dudes universe, returning (or existing forever in OVERLAP UNIVERSE) as an unholy combination of UNIVERSES A and B, sort of like the scientist in the movie The Fly: half can, half Bad Dudes game.

    UNIVERSE A is Coke can.
    UNIVERSE B is not Bad Dudes at all, but a universe where a Coke can is already an unholy combination of Coke and Bad Dudes. (Perhaps a universe where all video games and soft drinks are one.)
    In this scenario, Bad Dudes is just a natural transition to the parallel universe where Bad Dudes and Coke are one thing
    Or for Interpretation B2, perhaps there’s a “sidechain” universe feeding into OVERLAP UNIVERSE. In this SIDECHAIN UNIVERSE, EVERYTHING THAT EXISTS is merged in some way with Bad Dudes (rocks, clouds, stars), and this is what’s acting as the “engine” between UNIVERSES A and B, eternally transforming the Coke can from UNIVERSE A into its Bad Dudes equivalent in UNIVERSE B. Perhaps this “engine” also coughs a lot, like in a lime-green Volkswagen bug from 1975. Maybe the mechanic’s name is Walter.

    We shall never know.

  3. Pingback: More 8bit Coke, Anyone?

  4. Pingback: Digital representation, made physical

  5. Pingback: A Spectre is Haunting the Grocery Store

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>