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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 shoudln'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 existing pills on the market, thus Open Drugs officially exists.



Some footage from the hidden camera documentation

We also publicized it on this user made database. We presented the project during Ignite #14 in Mediamatic