Burden of Conquest: an Augmented Reality Art Game by Shasti O’Leary Soudant


Ocula City

Each QR code unlocks a new city


On view: July 26 – October 29, 2023
Location: Fallbrook Park, Corning, NY

Visit Burden of Conquest: An Augmented Reality Art Game and explore the virtual cities with your own iPhone or iPad anytime at Fallbrook Park, dawn to dusk, until October 29.

Burden of Conquest is an Augmented Reality Art Game for everyone, with physical prizes! In Burden of Conquest: An Augmented Reality Art Game, you can explore 11 futuristic and fantastical cityscapes that are based on 11 real-life locations. Hidden in each virtual city is that city’s Heart—a small digital sculpture—that when discovered, provides you with a QR code to access a physical 3-D printed version at The Southeast Steuben County Library. All you need is an iPhone or iPad and a sense of adventure. If you don’t have an apple device, you can check one out for free from the Library!

To create this artistic installation and game, artist Shasti O’Leary Soudant was inspired by Italo Calvino’s celebrated 1978 novel Invisible Cities. In the book, readers are taken on a journey through a series of fantastical towns, as narrated by Marco Polo to the notorious conqueror Kublai Khan. Soudant wondered what it would be like to create imaginative virtual cities so ephemeral, they appear as you approach them and disappear as you leave. The result is The Rockwell Museum’s very first Augmented Reality Art Game.

Weekly Fallbrook Park Meet-Up

Thursdays, July 27 – August 24 | Location: Fallbrook Park, 152-182 E Tioga Ave, Corning

Drop in anytime from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fallbrook Park to learn about and engage digitally with the Burden of Conquest exhibition. See meet-up schedule >>

Interested in a guided experience of Burden of Conquest? Join Community-Based Arts Practitioner Meghan OʼToole on a guided walking tour of the Burden of Conquest Augmented Reality (AR) exhibition in downtown Corning. Book a Public Art Tour with Meghan O’Toole and see available times >>

How to Play

  • To begin, you’ll need an Apple iPhone or iPad. To check out a device or collect your discovered City Heart, visit Southeast Steuben County Library: 300 Nasser Civic Center Plaza Suite 101, Corning. Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. | Saturday: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Be sure your phone or tablet is connected to Wifi or cellular data. You can connect to The Southeast Steuben County Library’s free wifi at:
Southeast Steuben County Library 
Wifi Network: CorningLibrary               
Wifi Password: corninglib                   

Rockwell Museum
Wifi network: RockwellPublic
Wifi password: Artemus17

  • To start, scan the QR code on any of the yellow metal pillars and follow the directions on your device. The Gates of the City will virtually appear before you!
  • Explore the virtual city and search for the City’s Heart by walking around the park as you view the city on your screen.
  • When you discover the City Heart—a small digital sculpture—scan the code to access a code for a free, physical 3-D printed version of the city. You’ll be provided directions on how to collect your heart at The Southeast Steuben County Library
  • Most importantly, HAVE FUN! City Hearts will be unlocked weekly, so be sure to come back for more. 

City Heart Drop Schedule



Shasti O’Leary Soudant is a multidisciplinary artist, sculptor, designer and writer whose large‐scale, colorful public art is inspired by humanist, philosophical, political, and scientific concepts. This work is developed in collaboration with the community, designed to invite engagement and interaction, and involves hidden systems, power dynamics, human relationships, balance and hegemony. Soudant was born in New York City, raised in Europe, dropped out of Music & Art High School in Manhattan, received her BFA in Sculpture and Photography from Purchase College, and finally, obtained her MFA in Visual Studies at The State University of New York at Buffalo in 2011, where she is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Design.

Burden of Conquest is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. This work was incubated and supported by the Sculpture Space Artists Residency in Utica, NY. We are grateful to our local collaborators—the Southeast Steuben County Library and Megan O’Toole (Community Based Arts Practitioner)—for helping us bring this Augmented Reality Art Game to fruition.


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