Kayode Ojo



Natural Selection is the result of an interaction with an existing recontextualization of a public archive. I discovered a Tumblr called “Hot and Busted” that featured the mug shots of men the author found attractive, gleaned from public records. The blog became popular and was featured on many other websites. Because the men chosen were exclusively Caucasian, criticism of the blog ranged from discomfort with the limited view of physical beauty to accusations of racism. The author of the blog claimed to be challenging the stereotypical image of a criminal. The blog was eventually shut down, due most likely to the legal issues of the image usage. To make my selections, I researched the sources from the original blog, mostly Florida, and discovered other mug shot archives that offered cataloging systems based on the physical features of the accused. I chose men with a look usually associated with famous actors, athletes, or any rural male ripe for recontextualization as a "new face". I built a physical representation of my complex relationship with the images by exposing the undeveloped film to light and photographing flames over the images.