Open Drugs

Open Drugs is a database intervention, concluding an investigation into what people might find to be the ’limits’ of open-sourcing. If knowledge becomes freely distributed and accessible, at what point do people become uncomfortable? What knowledge should and what knowledge shouldn’t be open-sourced?

Using recreational synthetic drugs as a case study we wondered if it would be possible to open-source the production process of XTC, and what the effect of that would be. During the investigation we discovered that in practice the same mechanics applied to the creation and improvement of chemical recipes for drugs as they did to to open collaborative software building. The “code” is shared through online platforms, incrementally improved by users and made available to all in the community. The technology for making these drugs was in fact already open-sourced.

To communicate this fact we added the Open Hardware logo to existing pills and had these tested at several free test labs throughout the country. By having the pills tested they got registered as pills existing on the market, thus Open Drugs from that point on officially existed.

This project was done in collaboration with Micha Prinsen and The Force Of Freedom