It does seem a little sinister to hand out free hot dogs using an obese bus, but Wurm’s intents are more nuanced than they might seem. He considers the sausage to be a “European food icon,” he said, and finds an interesting triangulation between how the product differs between the United States, Austria, and Germany. Sausages are such a part of Austrian identity, Wurm noted, that the famous drag queen who won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the country chose an evocative name: Conchita Wurst.
Hot Dog Bus is also a continuation of Wurm’s long-time fascination with sausages in general; he has made a series of sculptures in which surprisingly life-like weiners embrace, dance, and gesticulate. Yes, he admitted, part of the appeal is their obvious phallic implications (it’s why, he added, he’s also a fan of depicting pickles).