It is what you make of it. As part of the Belgian team, I can tell that people are into it for different reasons. For enabling decentralized production, as a communication/art project, as open science/citizen science prototype, ... These things are not mutually exclusive. It is certainly more than an art project - the technical stuff behind it is being fleshed out very well.
It is also not a short and quick gig. It'll take years to complete and for impact to follow. Also, in my view, it can not really fail. The learning involved on so many different aspects (collaboration processes, biotech, citizen science, ...) make it a worthwhile effort, regardless if the technological goal proves possible or not.