Remember early first-person shooters like Wolfenstein or Doom? Objects at the far side of the virtual space looked somewhat real-ish, but as you ventured nearer, the object in question--be it a casually tossed-about trunk full of jewels, cyberdemons, Hitler--would become a jumble of primordial 3D pixels. British artist Luke Jerram has devised a way to translate this jarring experience into the real world by creating a pixelated sculpture of his daughter, Maya.
From afar, the viewer sees what appears your regular standard-issue little girl standing in the distance. However, as you come closer, you discover that it is a blocky 3D sculpture replicating 2D pixels, as you can see in this video.
Jerram accomplished this feat by combining a scan of his daughter's body captured using an Xbox Kinect sensor and a more-detailed scan of her head at the University of Bristol's Center for Machine Vision.
The collected imagery was digitally separated into three-dimensional cubes and the sculpture was constructed from sheets of aluminum precisely cut by a water jet cutter. Over 5000 small colored stickers were then printed and affixed to the aluminum base to create the pixelated sculpture.
The end result is a three-dimensional object born of the 2D digital world. And it's kind of freaky.