Taste of 2022

A few highlights from 2022. As I wrote my journal in July 2022, “Paradise is a city filled with culture, a quiet snowy night, or the sounds of crickets in the cornfields.” These sights and sounds reflect that sentiment.

I give preference for creative work released in the last year. But in exceptional cases I may mention something older.


Internet For the People by Ben Tarnoff (2022)Internet for the People book cover

Ben offers a vision for the future internet with a different set of ground rules. Tarnoff claims that the internet is broken because it is treated like a business; a more equitable, privacy-respecting internet will require provisions for substantive governance outside of commercial interests.

Cinema and Streaming

Boiling Point (cinema, UK, 2021) and Love and Anarchy (Netflix, Norway, 2020-2022) were two favorites.

The German film Rabiye Kurnaz Vs. George W. Bush (cinema, Germany, 2022) by Andreas Dresen was the most adept portrayal of a significant real world event I’ve seen since The Big Short. The playful cultural stereotypes (“Germans are smart but slow…” “Do you know the saying ‘start it like a Turk but finish it like a German’?”) were incredibly popular with the audience at the Freiluftkino Friedrichsain in Berlin.


Grand Teton National Park, David Schmudde  

The Grand Teton mountains jet out of the flat Wyoming terrain to pierce the state’s big skies.

The winter brings a lunar landscape to the Great Plains and crossing the mountains in the dead of night to reach Idaho was a driving experience. The rest of that trip in the United States included places like Provo, UT, Yellowstone, Missoula, MT, and Seattle WA. Other 2022 stateside visits included New York City, Chicago, St. Louis, and my hometown of Peoria, IL.

I occasionally left my home in Turin, Italy to ramble around the country - Bardonecchia, Udine, Lake Como, Elba Island, Siena, Florence, Gran Paradiso, Bertinoro, Santa Margherita, and Parragi - and parts of Europe: Lisbon, PR, Lille, FR, Crete, GR, and my spiritual home on this continent, Berlin, DR.


The Tresor 31 exhibition ended up being my personal highlight in 2022.The Tresor 31 ExhibitionTresor 31, David Schmudde  

I feel connected to the culture of electronic music in Berlin and was even a visitor to the original Tresor in 2002. The top floor of Tresor 31 was a striking recreation of this space. Speaking of 2002, I also visited the recently-reopened Neue Gallerie in Berlin for the first time in twenty years.

I also had the opportunity to view 13 original illustrations by Leonardo da Vinci at the Musei Reali in Turin, Italy, including his famous self-portrait. It was a remarkable experience.

Leonardo da Vinci’s workbook, David Schmudde  


Two essays related to my digital identity work at Yorba struck me.

All That Is Solid Melts Into Information” in Noema is a conversation between Byung-Chul Han, a South Korea-born German philosopher and Nathan Gardels. Some highlights:

Art has always brought forth a new reality, a new form of perception. All his life, Paul Klee said: “Immanently, I cannot be grasped at all. Because I live with the dead, just as I live with the unborn. A bit nearer to the heart of creation than is usual. And not near enough at all yet.”

We greet information with a fundamental suspicion: Things might be otherwise. Contingency is a trait of information, and for this reason fake news is a necessary element of the informational order.

Today, we no longer have any narratives that provide meaning and orientation for our lives. Narratives crumble and decay into information.

Actors, Objects, and Linked Data” by Daniel Hardman makes an important point about the framing of data:

I agree that data is important. We need standards about our data, and paying attention to data is an important precondition to making identity better. However, I assert that identity is NOT all about data. It’s all about the identity subject. I’m not just throwing that out as a slogan or an opinion; the very definition of identity requires it to be all about a subject. And when that subject is human, then the identity is all about an actor. How big is that word in our tag cloud?

I think the reason we talk about data so much is because data is what the information economy can process to extract value. And processing to extract value is something that we do to objects, not actors. That worries me. It really worries me.



My year was filled with Einstürzende Neubauten. I saw the group’s bassist, Alexander Hacke, perform with his wife at the beginning of the year. Then I saw the entire group in at the Teatro Colosseo in Turin. It was the first time since seeing them at The Fillmore in San Francisco on 22/July/2000. I also happened to have tickets I purchased pre-Covid for a performance in Berlin. That’s where they put on their best show for the hometown crowd.

I was equally joyful to see the indie goth Italian group NOKTVA last month at Ziggy in Turin. Small venue, great fans, and a passionate band playing awesome music.

New Music

Some of my favorite new music from this year.

Slices by Spike Hellis (2022)

Sisters by Minuit Machine (2021)

New Meaning by Tempers (2022)

Embody Control by Normal Bias (2022)


Frances Fukuyama: Trajectory Without Teleology

I have never read the work of Frances Fukuyama so it was nice to listen to Jeff Salzman provide some nice context. Podcasts are the perfect format for this kind of deep dive.


Buddha10 at MAO in Turin, Italy, David Schmudde  

From my journal on 24/January/2022:

I had the most love-focused meditation tonight. It was lead by Pina on Rudi’s birthday. She did not offer words until the end, but the outpouring of my heart was profound.