A local artist who drew international attention this past summer when he showed up to the Main Street Car Free Festival with boxfuls of $38 hot-dog water in tow is taking his “health-miracle product” to Gwyneth Paltrow’s upcoming Goop summit in Vancouver.
Hot Dog Water, which is packaged in transparent Voss-like bottles with whole boiled wieners, is advertised as “keto-compatible” and promises improved brain function, weight loss, and younger looking skin. It was created by Vancouver-based artist Douglas Bevans as a “playful parody of the healthy lifestyle quackery that flourishes in this credulous age”.
As such, Bevans has decided to make Hot Dog Water available outside In Goop Health, a “wellness summit” conducted by Goop, the Gwyneth Paltrow–founded lifestyle brand that has garnered controversy for its pseudoscientific tips and products since being launched in 2008.
The conference, which is the first international edition of In Goop Health, takes place at Stanley Park Pavilion this Saturday and Sunday (October 27 and 28). On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Bevans will be onsite with samples of his Hot Dog Water, as well as a cauldron of hot dogs so that visitors may see the drink being made before their very eyes.
He says the Hot Dog Water “picnic” is meant to encourage the interrogation of health and marketing claims, especially as an increasing number of companies have come to rely on dubious assertions, social-media hype, and celebrity endorsements to sell their products.
“Although humorous, Hot Dog Water is not a prank and people are not being tricked into drinking it,” states a media release distributed by Bevans. “Rather, in its absurdity, the art performance encourages critical thinking related to product marketing and the significant role it plays in our purchasing choices.”
Bevans reportedly sold 60 litres of Hot Dog Water during Main Street Car Free Day in June.
In Goop Health, which grew to a weekend affair in Vancouver after single-day admission sold out, will feature a series of talks, workshops, and food and drinks that are “geared toward exploring and discovering optimal well-being”. Tickets to the first day of events were $400, though most of the second day’s sessions are free.
In 2017, U.S. ad watchdog Truth in Advertising filed a complaint with two California district attorneys after an investigation revealed 51 instances of deceptive marketing on Goop’s website. The lifestyle brand maintained its innocence, though agreed to pay $145,000 in a settlement last month.