Spook 1781


In the summer of 1781, James Armistead Lafayette was the sneakiest man in America.  He earned this dubious distinction providing intelligence.  Against impossible odds, James succeeded, liberating our insurgent forefathers from the British Empire.  Spook™ is a multimedia installation project, in-progress, based on James’ true story as a double-agent for America’s first Director of Central Intelligence, George Washington.

The installation "Spook™ Experiment" will consist of numerous elements:  HD video production equipment; Documentary 18th century images, hand-made forensic, drawings, reconstructions & abstractions;  the screenplay “In Spook’s Clothing" (© armstead 2007) and research documents.  These media items will be staged as a film set.  This life-sized tableau, handmade, drawn and constructed by the artist, will render an immersive abstraction of the espionage landscape that James navigated.  The constructed space will be flexible and extensible, allowing the artist to stage espionage happenings.

The espionage happenings of "Spook™ Experiment" will be scheduled events.  Using the feature length screenplay "In Spook’s Clothing," professional actors, passersby and museum visitors will reenact James' historic achievements by reading for the role of James or George Washington, if they choose.  They may choose any scene or the artist may suggest one.

Spook™: Experiment integrates actors and regular people into the same, free form cattle-call process and film production.  It dissolves the American Revolution’s mythology and replaces it with a serial act; hundred’s of people, inhabiting James' peculiar role, an invisible agent, in the midst of a bloody insurgency.

Project Created: 
May 2009