I believe the content explained in the “Quirks and Quarks” podcast to be both an example of art and science. Science, of course, because synthetic biology takes place purely in the scientific industry. However, there is a part of it that’s artistic as well. I believe that “art” is something that’s created not just for practical means, but for aesthetic means. For example, smartphones don’t have to look the way they do. Apple doesn’t make their iPhone’s out of glass because it’s cheaper too (quite the opposite in fact). They make it out of glass because their devices are artistic, they have a level of aesthetics that are not practical but are rather designed to be looked at. I believe synthetic biology can be the same way, with scientific artists eventually using the technology to express themselves and create a visualthey want others to see.
The material doesn’t really change my understanding of new media, except strengthen what I believe a close definition to be, that the medium is the message. Synthetic biology could very well become a new medium for all kinds of people to use. Commercially, DNA could be used as a more practical and faster means to store and transfer information (computers running on DNA rather than hard drives). Artists could use it to create dynamic art; art that moves and changes to it’s environment. And of course, scientists will use it to help cure problems in the world. I think New Media is any new type of medium that’s created by the evolution of technology.