The Red Forge Publishing House Performance


Hello and welcome to a performance of The Red Forge Publishing House.

The Red Forge Publishing House is a creative installation. It comprises story, song, art and technology.

The original story was called My Painted Elephant and I started writing it for a competition put on by the Shakespeare and Company Bookshop in Paris. I didn’t win that competition or you would have heard about it!

That original story has been written over, expanded, rearranged, deleted, rewritten and now is available on the website and is currently called A Perpetual Tale.

Today I will present two acts with and intermission between. Relax and enjoy.


Act One – Max and Charlotte

The story is written from the perspective of a writer writing a story so the first character I would like to introduce to you is Brenda. She feels the need to accomplish more in her life. She starts writing a story about a set of twins, Max and Charlotte. They live in Port Adelaide and it is set in the future a few years from now.

Max is an information agent running his own information service. He has rallied in the new information age and started a business helping people with their information needs. He has a vast array of resources (data and contacts) at his disposal. He can cut through all the red tape and save people time to find the answers they need. It can pretty much be anything, and his business card simply says “What do you want to know?”

He is a numbers guy, he loves statistics and data analysis. He helps people improve their businesses using the latest structured and non-structured and predictive techniques. He has also been building a private library of physical resources in a as he is very worried the state’s library service is relying more and more electronic resources which rely on the big tech companies to store and search and he foresees a problem with this.

Google search engine could become neglected as Google reaches out further into other business ideas and left to manifest itself using Artificial Intelligence and the infiltration of fake news has pretty much rendered it useless.

He believes individuals should be the owner of their own data and everyone should have their own Databank.

And after a few beers at his local he sees himself as an information warrior seeking the truth and he imagines his business is huge and a household name.

The Maxden Library and Information Service

 is the place to go for all your information needs. 


By now Brenda has decided she really wants to win this writing competition so she leaves her comfortable life in Australia and travels to Paris to live on the streets to become totally immersed in her work.

As she sits on a park bench looking out to the Eifel Tower she opens her battered laptop. She has to get her story out of her head quickly before she was mugged or freezes to death. She seemed so far away from where she wanted to be in terms of achievements in her life.

She starts typing….Max’s sister, Charlotte, is quite different, she has embraced the ‘fake news, anything goes new life’ she sees it as a chance to sprout alternative realities and change history. She begins to propagate a myth about a life form that existed on earth in the distant past. Metal and plastic were organic, had life, back then and metal-chicken like creatures that were forged in the fiery coke by Kembla the time travelling blacksmith and they worshiped the Iron Theodorus Spiral.

This myth is the bases for her Theodorus Spiral Shield Factory located in a warehouse alongside the Port River.

The Theodorus Spiral Shield Factory makes ornamental aluminium and bronze shields used for wall hangings that to grant the owner good luck, everybody wants one. There was a café and merchandise shop that sell Theodorus Spiral trinkets and t-shirts.

Like Max, Charlotte has bigger plans. She is working on to making real shields out of carbon Nano tubing. They are extremely light weight, bullet proof and fire resistant and unfold very quickly to protect the owner from attack.


As you can see the twins have different values but get along fine until one day totally unexpected Kesbooks Skytower a hologram embedded with organic nanoparticles arrives from the future. She is an artificial intelligence marvel. She has total recall, knows everything. Every piece of human knowledge, every email, database and dataset, every recorded conversation has been run through her system and each of her cells carried on her light waves is a miniature data store and processor. She has been sent back in time by the amazing scientists of the year 3021 and everything she sees and does is being recorded for a live public audience.


At this point Brenda decides to make each chapter length proportional to the derivative of the change in hypotenuse of the Theodorus Spiral. Let me tell you a little bit about the Theodorus Spiral. It starts with and isosceles right angled triangle. It the two short sides are equal to one then the long side or the hypotenuse is equal to the square root of 2. As the spiral winds around and around the rings get closer and closer to pi or 3.14…. and even more interestingly no matter how many spokes they never overlap. Wow. I can see you are impressed!

Anyway Brenda rearranges all the writing and completely messes the only copy she has. She climbs onto the ledge of a city building, hugging her laptop, cries herself to sleep homeless and hopeless in Paris.

Party Scene

Max’s Party this is the scene where some of the audience get up out of their seats and come up to the stage and form a party-scene.  The party participants are excited because it has been announced that time travel is now possible.

Max meets Marla at his party.


 Act Two – The Red Forge Publishing House

Marla stormed into the office of The Red Forge Publishing House wearing her Red Forge Publishing House T-shirt.

Marla “Breathe, they’re closing in on us, Tarn. I knew this would happen; we can’t seem to move quickly enough. We need to have a meeting; get everyone together.”

Tarnie set about contacting all the employees of The Red Forge Publishing House.

Marla “Right, great to see you all. “

Max, Charlotte and new comers Tarnie, music score and Leroy, popular science writer are all paying attention.

Marla “OK guys, we need to really step it up now team. It’s good to see you are all wearing your Red Forge Publishing House t-shirts.”

“So much is going on out there; we are going to get left behind. We need the book printed, the screen play needs to be written and the music being played. We must start getting the product out there. I really think the time is right now. It is just the sort of entertainment the public are looking for; a little bit quirky but offering real substance something for an audience to think about.”

“Tarnie get that music score completed.


Marla Now I know My Painted Elephant needs editing but I want start promoting it. Leave it a bit rough, it will give it an arty, edgy feel. Besides Brenda losses her laptop with the work unfinished so it is supposed to have an unfinished feel. I want the website to be a record of progress so anyone can see who is the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights on this piece. Max, can you please work out a legal strategy on this matter; perhaps have a copyright statement on the first page. But one more edit is needed, I agree. I want you all to have another look at it, fix it up and then send to the printers when ready”

Tarnie “OK boss” “I think we will need an editor in the future.”

Marla nods. Perhaps she would advertise for an editor.

Marla I really want the website, music and artwork finished by July for the Sneak Peek SALA event. I think that’s do-able. Kesbooks needs to do more on the social media. Leroy, I really need you to come up with the believable science for Kesbooks. There is a lot going on with holography. I want it to be the very latest idea and of course the time travel must stay in.”

An audible groan was heard from Leroy. He had a good idea about holograms having lasers coming out of their eyes but didn’t think Marla would like this. While popular science writing jobs were hard to come by, he thought it best to save the more contentious aspects of technology development quiet.

Leroy ‘Next she will ask me about Kesbook’s Diary,’ he thought to himself.

Marla. “Stop it Leroy, I know the time entanglement angle irks you but it is staying. It really is the whole point.”

Leroy “It just isn’t realistic because of the changing the past paradox etc. um..higgaldy pickledy as Brenda words it in My Painted Elephant.”

Marla “Yes and she then proceeds to ignore the higgeldy pickledy.”

Leroy “It could be possible to travel on your own time line and not change anything. Just travel forward and back. Just go and have a look, perhaps the electromagnetic forces will be so strong that actually making changes is not physically possible”

Marla Well you’re the science writer that’s what I employed you for. Also I don’t get what Brenda was saying about the derivatives of the theodorus spiral, you know the chapter lengths, why does she do that?  And didn’t I ask for you to continue on writing Kesbook’s diary?”

Tarnie “And I have been thinking we could set up a studio and stream live music via the website too.”


Marla “Leroy, we need a check out on the website. I want to sell the book as an e-book directly from the website. I don’t think we can keep My Painted Elephant as a free book. As a business we really need to start making some money. Now I hope you are all wearing your t-shirts out and about. We really need to get some more exposure in the community with our product. Live music would be great Tarnie but are you going to do it? Let’s find a professional singer and band, let’s get the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Perhaps once we start getting some sales we can look at doing more

Charlotte “Oh Marla, I have been working on some really great videos of theodorus spiral using the square root of negative numbers.

Leroy “that’s awesome Charlotte and I reckon the messing around with the square root of negative could be part of the reason Kesbooks Skytower comes into being.

Marla “Brilliant, keep up the good work. OK team, that is enough for today.” Martha finished up.

 Tarnie was a bit surprised but very relieved. Pretty much status quo the same for her.  Just keep working on the music score. She began trying work out when she was going to fit this task in. She already knew she would be going back in time to use some of time she wasted in the past. ‘This, Leroy, is why we like time travel,’ she muttered to herself as she caught up to Max and started walking alongside him down the path to the Port pub.

At her home that night, Marla sat down at her computer and start writing a list:

  • Holograms
  • Commercialisation of business
  • Marketing; is social media working?

After a massive sigh, she began writing another list titled


  • Writers for the The Red Forge Publishing House concept
  • Editor
  • Search Engine Marketing and Branding Experts
  • Mathematician
  • Physicist (Optics and Theoretical) for Kesbooks Skytower hologram.
  • Data and Information Scientists, collection and analysis of information seeking behaviour and databank development.
  • Manufacturers of Theodorus Shields (or wall hangings)
  • Clothing manufacturers and retailers for merchandise.
  • Musicians and singers to perform Helpless in the Paradox

Before long Marla found herself designing a sign with the words

FOR SALE: Innovative Concept   Best Offer.


 Act Three – The Community Meeting

Frank: Good Evening everyone. Welcome. We are here to discuss the matter of time travel. While we all got excited about being able to travel through time it has become obvious there are problems with us all travelling backwards and forwards whenever we like it. It is dangerous and causing utter chaos.

Frank: I would like to acknowledge Max from Maxden Library and Information Services for organising some fantastic regulated tours into the past and future and those of us who have been on them are very grateful for the wonderful experience.

Frank: However it has to all stop until we can get a consensus on what are the critical missions. So without further ago we will hear from several speakers tonight who would like to put forward their proposals and we can try to have an understanding of what the community want to do.

Frank points to Jeff

Frank: Mr Thompson

Jeff: I propose we travel as far into the future as we can to discover where we meet or have contact with any species from other planets. I will be good for us to find out if we are alone or not.

Crowd ooo’s. Frank writes something down. Some inaudible chit chat.

Frank: Order. Bridget

Bridget: I think we should go back in time with several public health messages such as the benefits of washing hands, the dangers of smoking etc.

Crowd ooo’s. Frank writes something down. Some inaudible chit chat.

Someone yells out. That could lead to an astronomical increase on the current population??

Crowd ooo’s. Frank writes something down. Some inaudible chit chat.

Franks acknowledges that person.

Person: We are against time travellers turning up in our time and using our resources. We need to concentrate on helping the people in our own time.

Crowd ooo’s. Frank writes something down. Some inaudible chit chat.

Lars yells from behind the bar.

Lars: All time travellers are welcome at the Dockside. Let them come.

Crowd ooo’s. Frank writes something down. Some inaudible chit chat.

Another Person: My religion disagrees with time travel and we believe it is an unnatural event and it should be barred forever.


Another Person: Rubbish. Save the extinct animals. Save the dodo, save the ????

Crowd ooo’s. Frank writes something down. Some inaudible chit chat.

Franks sees Max waving frantically

Max: I propose we go back and save Hypatia the Greek Mathematician. I have been conjecturing all the possibilities and I believe had she lived, better solutions to many world issues would have resulted. Following her guidance our calculations would have led to a perfect allocation of resources using time travel so each Earthly citizen can receive the resources they need at whatever time slot best fits their needs.

Crowd ooo’s. Frank writes something down. Some inaudible chit chat.

Brenda jumps up from the bench which is off to the side.

Brenda: Stop I didn’t write any of this.

Frank carries the podium off the stage. Brenda sits back down and begins typing.

Brenda: to the audience. Perhaps time is travelling backwards we just perceive it as forwards. How many of you have thought about something only to find it happening in the future quite randomly? Is it fate? Is it all a dream?

Lyle approaches Brenda.

Lyle: Come on home darling. Time is travelling in the right direction. I love you.

Lyle leads Brenda off the stage but she leaves the laptop behind.

Marla walks up to the bench picks up the laptop and opens it. Presses a few keys.

Marla: Oo My Painted Elephant perhaps I could publish this. I could start a company. The Red Forge Publishing House.

Marla walks off with the laptop.

You can read the current full version It’s free (at the moment) and if you like you might want to buy a t-shirt or bag or something from the online shop.

Come over the weekend across the road to the SneakPeek SALA Artist Market and see

The Time Travelling Blacksmith’s Theodorus Spiral with Metal Chickens on the Pink Concrete Blocks.

My ambition is for this performance to  be much bigger than today’s show. I would like an orchestra, a choir, professional actors, real props. You can read more about it website