It's not performance art. It's not a joke. She genuinely wants to compete, even though she can't do a whole lot on the halfpipe. The competitors interviewed by the AP think Swaney earned her way into the Games just like everyone else, and it's fine.
You might get a smile out of her run after seeing Maddie Bowman do seemingly impossible things on the halfpipe. But, at the same time, it's an admirable pursuit. She doesn't fall. She is clearly trying to get some amplitude. She's working on improving. (Seriously, have you tried to do a halfpipe?) And she's doing nothing that hinders any of the other athletes. It's a reminder that all the athletes battling for medals in PyeongChang are just people who worked hard. Though there are some notable differences, see German Madrazo, Pita Taufatofua, Eddie the Eagle, or Ester Ledecka, who had to borrow skis to enter a skiing event as a snowboarder. (She won gold.)
Whether you love her run or hate, expect the possibility that the International Olympic Committee changes qualification rules again, just as it did after Eddie the Eagle's famous ski jumping appearance in 1988. The so-called Eddie the Eagle rule required competitors to be in the top 30% or top 50 international competitors.