Airports are areas of transit, places of in-between-ness where mobility is key; airports function not just as transfer points where people are moved from one place to another, but also as areas where mobile technology is critically important to make sure that travellers can stay connected. The airport serves as a node in the network of flows that is air travel. Airports orchestrate social life into distinct movements and behaviors.
The ontology of the airport is peculiarly split between a sense of placelessness, while at the same time being a place of material organization and social complexity. It is a system of interconnected material worlds, and thus a heterotopia; a blending space of overlapping ontologies. Ursula Le Guin playfully examines this concept of overlapping ontologies in her short story collection Changing Planes, where airport travellers can shift realities due to the unpleasantries of waiting. My paper will investigate the metaphor of the airport in Le Guin's collection, focusing on nodes, networks and the complex configurations of space-time which is the collection's driving metaphor.">