Actually, I've noticed that there seems to be a growing trend amongst fine arts majors to use something to illicit a particular reaction from the viewer/audience, and that the reaction is the art, not what provokes the reaction.
I had a roommate a couple years ago (who was the target of my psychological warfare mentioned in the Funny Pranks and Pranks and Scares Threads over in GAL) who was earning a Bachelor's in Fine Arts at Chico State, which is also the most worthless degree ever.
The culmination of my PSYOPS program against him had to do with his final art project that he had to show at the end of his last semester in order to finish his degree. It was the most bullshit art project I've ever seen, and I think in many ways using the reaction to something as the actual art itself is a cheapening of what "art" really is.
He had this '71 Honda 750 motorcycle that he was rebuilding the engine for. He videotaped the entire process, minus a few insignificant steps, and then edited the whole video down to about 25 or 26 hours of video. The whole video consisted of the motor and his hands awkwardly fumbling with the fucking carburator and heads and all that. Then, for the viewing, he filled one of the alcoves in the hallway of the art department building with these old theater chairs he had cleaned up, dressed up like a fucking ringmaster from a circus, complete with black top hat, bow tie and red jacket with tails in the fucking back and a goddamned cummerbund. The fact that he's about 5'3" and 120 lbs really added to the whole absurdity of the look.
People would come into the alcove and sit down in the theater chairs and watch this stupid fucking video of his engine being rebuilt, with the finished motorcycle in the back corner of the room, and the agreement was that everyone who viewed this abortion of a movie had to go out and tell a lie about what they had seen and that THAT was the art.
I knew where he was going with all of this so I asked enough questions to slowly and surreptitiously lead him into saying that he was providing the audience with the tools to make art and that THAT was his project. Then I let this big, toothy smile creep across my face and asked him why WE didn't get the degree instead of him, since all he was doing was akin to making brushes and canvasses and paints and oils and all that stuff. After all, I asked him, the people who attach horsehairs to the end of a fucking paintbrush aren't artists at all and no one has ever considered them as such before, so if he was merely providing us with the tools to make the art, shouldn't it be US who get the Fine Arts degree and not him?
He was fucking flabbergasted and completely lost his composure in front of most of his graduating class, who were all sitting there eating up this whole morbid exchange. The best part was when I brought up the fact that I had actually been one of his projects earlier that year when I showed up to his class once dressed in an Italian 150 thread-count, worsted wool, 3-piece suit and dark sunglasses and proceeded to rant and rave about politics for 15 minutes straight in front of his whole class as a sort of performance art-type of thing. He just brought me with him and called ME his "art". The whole class was stunned because I was pounding my fist into the podium and screaming and yelling and waving my arms about and berating everyone who asked me any questions.
Definitely one of my finer moments. I still live near the Chico State campus and see some of the people from his class around town, and they always give me a wide berth when they see me coming, which is as it should be concerning myself and anyone stupid enough to accept that little fagot's drivel as "art".