Joel Holmberg, The New Museum

As a part of the exhibition titled “The Great Ephemeral,” co-curated by the Taipei Contemporary Art Center’s Meiya Cheng, The New Museum presented “Changing My Password,” a work by artist Joel Holmberg.

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This was the first time I’d seen an artist label a telephone conversation with a customer service representative as art, and it was refreshing. The theme of the piece, cybersecurity, is a pressing global problem that touches nearly everyone in some capacity. Massive data breaches make headlines frequently, and some experts say that at this point, the question is no longer “if” you will become a victim, but rather, “when.”

It’s great to see an artist take notice of an emerging topical challenge that the population at large deals with, and, in order to expose something about it in a new way, is willing to push the boundaries of what “art” comprises.

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I almost walked right by this unassumingly presented piece, but upon giving the plaque a read and listening to the work, I at once became grateful that I took a moment to take a chance on a piece of art that I normally wouldn’t have paid any attention to. I think this is one of the most remarkable works at the New Museum’s “The Great Ephemeral.”

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