I’ll get to this soon, I hope, but for now the best response I can give to commenter Ari Din is to point them towards the following related-but not-exaclty review of a series of abstract photography shows, by Martha Schwendener and found in the Voice:
The question of why certain practices thrive at particular moments feels like the art world equivalent of asking why honeybee populations have collapsed in the last decades or mussels have started growing in the Hudson. Why, for instance, are contemporary photographers—or, if you like, artists working with photography—obsessed with abstraction, materiality, and process?
To which she begins to answer herself:
Several theories are offered in Words Without Pictures, the recently published record of a year-long forum on photography sponsored by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In the essays and discussions, there’s a suggestion that, while formalism might be an exhausted term for critics and historians, it could, as Kevin Moore argues, be “an anxious attempt” among artists to make something new and yet familiar in a moment when technology, politics, and culture are rapidly shifting. Others suggest abstraction as a response to the current global crisis—a kind of causal fragmentation/disintegration scenario—while editor Alex Klein warns that, while materiality and abstraction might have political implications for some artists, there are clearly others for whom it’s “trendy, market-savvy, and scarcely disguised by a veneer of easily digestible theory.”
I wonder which artists Klein was referring to…
Anyways, this answer is, at best, limited and, at worst, an outright hostile one.
As far as the original question of a definition of “techo-spiritualist new weird” photography, I’ll try and think through it a bit more – definitions are clearly in order. I think a good place to start would be to try and put a finger on where, exactly it’s boundaries lay…
If any of you think of work (in photography or writing) that you think I definitely have to cover, leave a note in the comments.